Situation in Sudan (per 9 May)

  • The pre-negotiations have drawbacks: Both mediators are unwilling to engage with other actors, there is an absence of civilian voices, the talks are legitimising both sides of the conflict as (the only) legitimate political actors, they are delaying humanitarian responses, and there is a lack of transparency.
  • Burhan said that no settlement can be made until a ceasefire has been agreed to. SAF is insisting that a precondition for the ceasefire is for RSF to leave urban areas, particularly in Khartoum.
  • The ceasefires in Sudan are not holding because either or both sides believe they can solve the conflict militarily and there are no observers on the ground to see which side is breaking the ceasefire.
  • UN’s Griffiths asked to join the negotiations, but so far his request has not been approved.
  • Sources have confirmed that foreign fighters have been entering Sudan through Chad, Mali and Niger to support the RSF. 
  • The UN assumes that these foreign forces are paid mercenaries, although it is likely that some want to form a state for Arab nomads (minorities in central and west African countries), say observers
  • Many religious members and clergy from a number of congregations are fleeing Khartoum and Sudan.
  • The Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap.) and the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) have decided to stay in Khartoum.
  • There have been numerous reports of disappearances of people, many of whom end up in RSF camps.
  • RSF is holding 10 engineers and their families hostage at the central electricity control unit located south of Khartoum in Soba. RSF arrested three engineers in Omdurman. 
  • Last week, two medical volunteers were arrested and detained by the RSF, while doctors still remaining in Khartoum have received death threats from the military.
  • Sources state that the important bases in Khartoum are currently controlled by the SAF.
  • Protests took place in Port Sudan and at the gate of the office of Volker Perthes, Special Representative for Sudan of the UN Secretary-General. 
  • The protests are alleged to have been organised by supporters of Al-Burhan and by Omer Al-Bashir.
  • The protests of some 150 protesters follow the recent statement of Volker Perthes that a solid ceasefire is needed and that civil society should be involved in the peace process.
  • Perthes said in an interview that Libya’s Hafter was the supporter of “one of the two parties” but that it had not a “decisive” impact on the conflict.
  • He mentioned the influence of Egypt and other neighbouring countries and praised South Sudan which “has already been very active”. Volker emphasised that Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan, negotiated the current, not fully observed, ceasefire. He said Egypt was also pushing for a cease-fire.
  • Perthes said he had no concrete evidence of involvement of Wagner, but did not rule out the possibility.
  • Young civil society leaders, part of grassroots youth networks that have been central to the citizen’s transition to democratic civilian governance, are trying to stop the violence in Sudan.
  • The youth networks in Sudan have been providing humanitarian assistance, such as food, water, medicines, and fuel to people in need. 
  • The youth networks have been supporting people fleeing by providing vehicles and drivers, setting up emergency rooms, and creating a website and app to connect people in need.
  • Youth movements have been organising online campaigns to stop the war and urging for a ceasefire.

Situation of Refugees (per 9 May)

  • Sudanese refugees and South Sudanese returning refugees stuck in Kiir Adem Payam report cases of separated families as children and elderly were left behind. 
  • The government of Northern Bahr el Ghazal is trying to secure food for those in great need. 
  • Traders from Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, and South Sudan in Northern Bahr el Ghazal are sending relief items supporting the displaced, whilst the state government donated 100 sacks of 100 kg maize flour.
  • In Halfa at the Egyptian border thousands of Sudanese wait for at least a week to get Egyptian visas.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 9 May)

  • Ethiopian Justice Ministry officials denied that Eritrean refugees living in refugee camps in Tigray were refouled by Ethiopian military to Eritrea during the Tigray war. The Ethiopian delegation was in Geneva in the context of the 76th UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT).
  • The officials stated that the role of Eritrea in refoulement of Eritrean refugees is still “under investigation”, but claimed most of the Eritrean refugees were accounted for, and accused the Tigray Defense Forces of attacking the refugee camps. 
  • The UNCAT members criticised Ethiopia for denying reports of ethnic cleansing in Tigray and failing to provide facts on the role of Eritrean forces in the crimes. It pressed Ethiopia to ensure accountability.

Regional Situation (per 9 May)

  • An interview with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki was published in which he talks about Sudan, mentioning close ties Eritrea has with Sudan, and  good relationships with both parties of the conflict.
  • In the interview, Afwerki states that Sudan is in a transitional period towards stability, and that during the transition, there should be no contest of power and ownership of the revolution. 
  • He also says that the unification of the army should be separated from the transition period (there is no haste) and emphasises the need for neutrality of armed forces during this period.
  • Moreover, he says that he was in constant communication with the stakeholders before the conflict erupted, providing advice and suggestions and that Eritrea’s position was clear for both parties.
  • He also states the fact that there are armed groups in Darfur, Kurdufan, Blue Nile and the East that have not yet been incorporated in the process.

International Situation (per 9 May)

  • A protest is taking place in London today to join in solidarity with the Sudanese people and speak up for Eritrean refugees currently trapped in Sudan.
  • President Kiir of South Sudan cautioned international powers about interfering with the internal affairs in Sudan, and acknowledged the legitimacy of the SAF and Burhan as the president of Sudan.

Links of interest
Sudan: What’s wrong with the US-Saudi-mediated talks in Jeddah?
Ceasefire talks yield ‘no major progress’ as fighting rages in Sudan
No breakthrough yet in Saudi-hosted Sudan talks: Saudi diplomat
Sudan’s al-Burhan open for political solution, provided RSF withdraw from Khartoum
SUDAN: Religious, Clergy Flee from Khartoum, as Fight in Sudan Intensifies
Sudan medical volunteers detained after being seized from ambulance
UN warns of deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sudan
Amid Sudan’s Chaos, Youth Groups Work for Peace
Twitter: Reem Abbas
Justice Ministry grilled over crimes in northern Ethiopia
Northern Bahr el Ghazal donates food, non-food items to returnees, refugees
Interview with President Isaias Afwerki
Kiir warns about foreign meddling in Sudan crisis