Fighting continued in Sudan hours before a ceasefire agreement was to take effect between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Monday, May 22. The warring parties had signed the agreement on May 20. Around 850 civilians have died since fighting broke out on April 15.
Concerns remain about whether the ceasefire will hold as earlier agreements were violated. This is the first time the warring parties have signed a written agreement with a mechanism for monitoring. A Monitoring and Coordination Committee is to be established, comprising three representatives each from the SAF and RSF, and three each from the US and Saudi Arabia, which have been jointly facilitating the negotiations in Jeddah.
While welcoming the agreement, spokesperson of the Sudanese Communist Party Fathi Elfadl told Peoples Dispatch that this committee is insufficient to monitor and ensure compliance. “It does not include a single representative of the civilians who have been suffering the most,” he said.
The warring parties have committed to ensuring the safety of humanitarian workers and allowing humanitarian assistance delivery. Elfadl said that the humanitarian corridors should not be controlled by the SAF or RSF but by organizations like the doctors’ union and the Sudanese Red Crescent. He added that neighborhood resistance committees, which have been at the forefront of mass protests and relief work, should receive and distribute the aid.
Around 24.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the Revised Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan prepared by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).