UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decided on April 30th that he had seen enough of the lack of progress being made in Sudan, and has elected to send the Emergency Relieve chief to the war-torn nation. As the warring factions only honored the 72-hour ceasefire that ended on April 30th in the most modest sense of the term, Guterres is concerned about how things are unfolding.
Announced via Twitter, Guterres gave the impression that he believed that his Martin Griffiths was the man to help bring the country back together, or at minimum stop things from escalating even further than they had already gone.
In his own statement, Griffiths claimed that the country was “reaching a breaking point.” Given the difficulty in sourcing basic items like food water and fuel, he knew it was time to act. In Khartoum, things had reached a fever pitch and the people are in severe danger. Unsurprisingly, the violence and scarcity were making it more difficult to rescue people from the country.
“I am on my way to the region to explore how we can bring immediate relief to the millions of people whose lives have turned upside down overnight.”
With both the Sudan Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) saying that they would not extend their already laughable 72-hour ceasefire, the determination this man has is admirable but also seems to be misplaced. According to RSF officials, calls from across the capital, country, and even the globe has them unwilling to lay down their arms. If anything, they seem more emboldened than ever by this support.
As nations across the world, including the United States, push for an end to the violence in Sudan, there is little they can do to help these issues. At its very core, the country has a deep rift within itself. With ceasefires ineffective, the promises of being able to adopt the democracy they claim they were on their way towards seem to be little more than a fever dream.
Much like other conflicts across the globe with a “rebels” group, the Sudan Army is hoping the RSF will abide by the ceasefire but claims the RSF leader and his troops are perpetually breaking it, not them. While allegations like these are not uncommon, many are giving conflicting reports of the way the action has transpired. This too is not uncommon, but it’s a sign that there is much work to be done.
So far, President Biden took until April 30th to begin the first extractions of Americans from Sudan. While the collapse of the government inside Sudan was more sudden than it was in Afghanistan, if you’ve been watching their politics, you have seen the writing on the wall very clearly. President Biden took a page out of the playbook for Afghanistan and left the American people in the country to rot, with little US help.
Sudanese journalist Mohamed Alamin Ahmed is in Khartoum and spoke with Al Jazeera about the conditions on the ground. “People are fleeing Khartoum not only because of the humanitarian situation and the bombs that have fallen on houses of civilians because of random shelling and air strikes, but also because of looting civilians in the streets, and even inside their houses.”
Ahmed also documented cases of healthcare in Sudan suffering greatly as the hospitals are coming under gunfire. As it stands five containers of medical supplies including IV fluids are stuck at the Port of Sudan with government officials unwilling to clear them for release into the country. This kind of tactic is not surprising on unexpected given the situation, but it also puts people who have nothing to do with the conflict at exceptional risk.