A top Sudanese official has said that a plan should be put in place to end the conflict between the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) amid the continuing violence in the country.
The deputy head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Malik Agar, said on Tuesday that a caretaker government must be formed as the fighting between the sides entered its fifth month.
“At the end of the day, this war will end at a negotiating table,” said Agar, in a potential softening of the army’s stance, citing the hardships citizens have endured.
Agar said that the current focus of the government is to end the war, and the post-war era will focus on reconstruction and rebuilding of the state institutions.
He called for comprehensive dialogue by all the political civilian activists in the country with no exclusion. Agar also said that the violence should end with a single unified army in the nation.
Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, noted that there are currently no continuing talks between the warring sides.
“Numerous ceasefires between the army and the RSF have been violated,” she said, adding that both sides accused each other of violations, fuelling mutual distrust.
“It is not clear if the two sides will return to the negotiating table anytime soon,” Morgan said.
Continuing intense fighting between the Sudanese army and the RSF has devastated the capital Khartoum and sparked ethnically driven attacks in Darfur, threatening to plunge Sudan into a protracted civil war and destabilise the region.
Efforts led by Saudi Arabia and the United States to negotiate a ceasefire have stalled, and humanitarian agencies have struggled to provide relief because of insecurity, looting and bureaucratic hurdles.
The United Nations warned on Tuesday that more than one million people have fled Sudan to neighbouring states and people inside the country are running out of food and dying due to a lack of proper healthcare after four months of war.
“Time is running out for farmers to plant the crops that will feed them and their neighbours. Medical supplies are scarce. The situation is spiralling out of control,” several UN agencies said in a joint statement.
The war has caused 1,017,449 people to cross from Sudan into neighbouring countries, many already struggling with the effects of conflicts or economic crises, while those displaced within Sudan are estimated to number 3,433,025, according to the latest weekly figures published by the IOM.
Fighting erupted on April 15 over tensions linked to a planned transition to civilian rule, exposing civilians in the capital and beyond to daily battles and attacks.
Crime and power cuts
The millions who remain in Khartoum and cities in the Darfur and Kordofan regions have faced rampant looting and long power, communications and water cuts.
“The remains of many of those killed have not been collected, identified or buried,” but the UN has estimated that more than 4,000 have been killed, Elizabeth Throssell, spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a briefing in Geneva.
Reports of sexual assaults have increased by 50 percent, said UN population fund official Laila Baker.
Large swaths of the country have been suffering from an electricity blackout since Sunday, which has also taken mobile networks offline, according to a statement from the national electricity authority.
Seasonal rains, which also increase the risk of waterborne diseases, have destroyed or damaged the homes of up to 13,500 people, the UN estimated.
In a speech on Monday, army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan accused the RSF of aiming “to take the country back to an era before the modern state” and “committing every crime that can be imagined”.
The RSF has accused the army of trying to seize full power under the direction of loyalists of Omar al-Bashir, the longtime leader who was toppled during a popular uprising in 2019.