Situation in Sudan (per 4 May)
- US President Biden signs an Executive Order to expand the scope of the national emergency, finding that the situation in Sudan constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
- The reasoning refers to the military’s seizure of power in October 2021 and the outbreak of inter-service fighting in April 2023.
- This expands on the Executive Order 13067 of November 3, 1997 (Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan), which was expanded by Executive Order 13400 of April 26, 2006 (Blocking Property of Persons in Connection With the Conflict in Sudan’s Darfur Region).
- The Executive Order expands the ability of the U.S. authorities to respond to the violence that began on April 15, says President Biden in a statement.
- The Executive Order identifies sanctions that will hold individuals responsible “for threatening the peace, security, and stability of Sudan; undermining Sudan’s democratic transition; using violence against civilians; or committing serious human rights abuses.”
- airstrikes and exchange of fire reported in the capital of Sudan, as the seven-day ceasefire started today.
- Martin Griffiths, chief of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, called for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) to commit to safe passage agreements for humanitarian supplies.
- UN organisations warn that humanitarian supplies must be distributed before the rainy season starts in June, after which access will be very difficult.
- The indiscriminate and wide-area effects of the explosive weapons used by both RSF and SAF, harming and killing civilians, constitute a violation of the laws of war, states Human Rights Watch (HRW).
- Through witnesses and satellite images, HRW verified reports of attacks on densely populated areas and on critical infrastructure, including healthcare facilities and a water treatment plant.
- The deaths that have been counted in Sudan only include those that die in hospitals or who are brought into hospitals, resulting in a vast underestimation of the numbers of deaths.
- Sudanese pioneer stage actress Asia Abdelmajid was killed in Khartoum. She was shot on the grounds of a kindergarten where she was working. She was 80 years old.
Situation in Ethiopia (per 4 May)
- USAID pauses food assistance to Tigray, following WFP’s announcement on the same.
- USAID administrator Samantha Power said, “USAID uncovered that food aid, intended for the people of Tigray suffering under famine-like conditions, was being diverted and sold on the local market.”
- USAID states that the Interim Regional Government of Tigray and the Federal Government have promised to work with USAID to identify the culprits and hold them to account.
- USAID will not continue food support until “strong oversight measures are in place.”
- The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission confirmed the military activities resulting in death, injuries and property damage in North Gonder, North Wollo and North Shewa zones of Amhara region.
- The Commission called for peaceful resolution of the conflict and dialogue between concerned parties.
Situation of refugees (per 4 May)
- Eritrean refugees are leaving Khartoum for Kassala State and are being stopped en route by Sudanese authorities, sources state.
- Refugees stopped on the way to Kassala State, who possess immigration documents issued by the official immigration authorities, have been deported to Shegarab camp in eastern Sudan. Reported number as of today is 150.
- Those who do not have any official documents are forcefully deported to the Eritrean borders and handed over to the Eritrean authorities. Exact numbers are unknown. Others are deported to Wad Sharifi camp, in east Sudan, estimated 1,300 people as of 30 April.
- Those forcibly deported from Sudan to Eritrea have already started to flee again from Eritrea towards Kassala, out of fear for their safety.
- The conditions in the 4 reception centres along the Sudan-Eritrea border, Wad Sharifi, Al-Qarqaf, Hamdayet and Shegarab, are dire due to the lack of support, limited services and overcrowding.
- Wad Sharifi alone, built for a limited number (150) of persons, has been overflowing with 1300 new arrivals in the last days; most of them left again due to the bad conditions.
Situation in Eritrea (per 4 May)
- The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) calls on the US to redesignate Eritrea as a country of particular concern, as it continues to arbitrarily arrest Christians and holds prisoners of conscience in “decrepit, unsanitary, and inhumane conditions.”
Regional situation (per 4 May)
- The Kenyan opposition led by Raila Odinga announced it will suspend protests in Kenya, following an agreement with the government to one of the demands. No details of the agreement were made public.
International Situation (per 4 May)
- The UN Security Council Secretary General published a report on progress on the arms embargo in South Sudan. The Secretary General is particularly concerned over the “continued lack of funding and political support for the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process.”
- There is also concern over lack of progress in the collection and disposal of weapons, including those in civilian hands, in the run-up to possible elections.
- Catriona Laing has been appointed as SR United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
Links of interest
White House Sudan Executive order
Statement President Biden on Sudan
Sudan truce efforts in tatters as fighting rages on
Sudan: ‘Secure and immediate access’ needed for lifesaving aid, urges Guterres
Sudan: Explosive Weapons Harming Civilians
Sudan crisis: Actress Asia Abdelmajid killed in Khartoum cross-fire
Pause of U.S. Food Aid in Tigray, Ethiopia
SORD-EEPA Joint Briefing Paper on Eritrean Refugees in Sudan May 4 2023
Rights commission says civilians killed in ongoing military conflict in Amhara region, calls for dialogue
USCIRF Releases 2023 Annual Report Highlighting Worsening Religious Freedom Conditions Around the World
Kenya opposition says it suspends protests after agreement with government
Assessment of progress achieved on the key benchmarks established in paragraph 2 of resolution 2577 (2021) – Report of the Secretary-General (S/2023/300) [EN/AR]
Secretary-General Appoints Catriona Laing of United Kingdom Special Representative for Somalia and Head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia
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