South Sudan, Egypt urge permanent ceasefire in Sudan

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South Sudan and Egypt, on Tuesday, repeated calls for a permanent ceasefire between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan as the warring parties continue to breach a ceasefire agreement meant to create humanitarian corridors.

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, and President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan made the call in Juba on Tuesday.

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Addressing a press conference at the Juba State House after talks between the two neighbours of Sudan, Shoukry said it was important that Sudan’s neighbours exchange views and find ways of resolving the conflict there, according to a report by Radio Tamazuj.

“The situation is dramatic in Sudan and the consequences of military activity on Sudan and its people and the effects have been wide-reaching to both the immediate and most active neighbours and their relationship with Sudan,” Shoukry said, adding that, “It necessitates that we, both Egypt and South Sudan, consolidate our efforts and exchange views on the way forward to contain this situation and to relieve the difficulties that are met by the Sudanese people.”

Also speaking, South Sudan’s Acting Foreign Minister, Deng Dau Deng, said the meeting stressed the need for cessation of hostilities to pave the way for political dialogue.

“They also discussed the future of the peace itself. The current situation is a ceasefire, cessation of hostilities, and then humanitarian access, and after that, you talk about issues of a permanent ceasefire and a political discussion,” he said.

Deng added that there is now pressure on the two neighbours of Sudan — Egypt and South Sudan — following the worsening situation of the war, and both countries now need to find an amicable solution to the conflict.

“There is a need for the immediate neighbours to take special concern on the situation in Sudan and President Salva Kiir reaffirms and reiterated that he is very much concerned, like Egypt, because we are immediate neighbours to Sudan,” Deng said, adding, “And not only immediate neighbours, but we have pressure from the people that are living in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan.”

“We’re open for political solution if…’

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Army’s Commander-in-Chief, Abdel Fattahl-Burhan, has said he is open for a political resolution to the ongoing conflict with the Rapid Support Forces on the condition that the RSF withdraws its militiamen from occupied areas in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

The two warring parties began talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of a joint United States-Saudi mediation with the goal of ending the conflict in Khartoum and resuming the political process towards establishing civilian rule in Sudan, according to Sudan’s news media, Sudan Tribune.

In a Monday interview with Al-Qahera News Channel, Fattahl-Burhan stressed the need to evacuate the militia forces from residential neighbourhoods and service facilities in Khartoum, making it a precondition for accepting the ceasefire with the Rapid Support Forces.

“The ceasefire must be accompanied by the opening of roads and the evacuation of hospitals, public utilities, and other service centres such as electricity and water stations, in addition to residential neighbourhoods,” he said.

Speaking of his support for a peaceful solution, Fattahl-Burhan said, “We remain hopeful that a peaceful solution will bring an end to this situation.”

“We are committed to refraining from engaging in any fight with individuals who evacuate these residential neighbourhoods and relocate to camps as long as this process is part of a genuine dialogue aimed at resolving this crisis,” he added.

He called for international pressure to be mounted on the leadership of the Rapid Support Forces to withdraw its fighters from residential neighbourhoods in Khartoum and some Darfur states.

Clashes had erupted between the two warring parties in the southern region of Khartoum on April 15, with both sides accusing the other of initiating the attack, following unsuccessful negotiations on the integration of the Rapid Support Forces into the Sudanese army.