Situation in Sudan (per 22 May)

  • The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) signed an Agreement on a Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements on 20 May.
  • The short-term ceasefire, which goes into effect today and 21:45 CAT, is for seven days.
  • The ceasefire is supported by a US-Saudi and internationally-supported ceasefire monitoring mechanism.
  • Under the agreement, the forces should withdraw from hospitals, facilitate the distribution of aid, allow the safe passage for humanitarian actors, and restore essential services.
  • The next steps in the negotiations are reaching a permanent ceasefire and resuming a political process towards democracy under the leadership of Sudanese civil society, state US and Saudi Arabia mediators. 
  • Air raids, gunfire and explosions were reported in Khartoum, Bahri and Omdurman on Sunday, despite the SAF and RSF commitment not to seek military advantage prior to the start of the ceasefire. 
  • 11 attacks against humanitarian premises in Khartoum and four attacks on health facilities have taken place since the signing of the Jeddah Declaration on 11 May, reports UNOCHA. 
  • The RSF will not abandon the positions they currently control, states Hafez al-Zain, strategic advisor of RSF Commander Hemedti. 
  • Renewed clashes were reported in Darfur, particularly Zalengei, Central Darfur, and Nyala, South Darfur, with further escalation of fighting in El Geneina, West Darfur.
  • All 86 gathering sites for displaced persons in El Geneina were burnt to the ground, secondarily displacing 85.000 people, states UNOCHA. 
  • All health facilities in El Geneina are out of order and there is no help beyond first aid  for the growing numbers of victims of sexual violence.
  • Electricity, water points and markets are non-functional, leaving El Geneina citizens without basic necessities. Several humanitarian locations have been attacked and looted.
  • 28 civilians were killed in clashes between 18 and 20 May in Nyala, states the Sudan Doctors’ Union.
  • The new sovereign council deputy, Malik Agar, issued a statement on Saturday saying that he will work towards a permanent ceasefire and democratic transformation.
  • Addressing the RSF, he stated: “There is no alternative to the stability of Sudan except through a single and unified professional army, taking into account Sudanese pluralism.”
  • Malik Agar was sent to South Sudan to engage in talks with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on ways to resolve the conflict in Sudan.  
  • Sudanese passports were destroyed by the US Embassy as part of their procedures as they were leaving the embassy, stranding Sudanese people who had left their passports at the embassy pending visas.

Refugee Situation (per 22 May)

  • Thousands of refugees fleeing Sudan are staying at Paloich Airport in South Sudan, which normally services oil fields. There are no facilities.
  • 6.000 more people are staying at the abandoned Upper Nile University in Renk. 
  • Among them are Eritrean refugees who are scared to give their names out of fear of retribution by Eritrean authorities, states the BBC. 
  • The South Sudanese foreign ministry reached out to the Eritrean government for repatriation, but Eritreans do not want to return due to the repressive regime in Eritrea. Eritrean refugees are not allowed to go to Juba, as there are no refugee camps for them there.

Situation in Tigray(per 22 May)

  • The decision of the World Food Programme and USAID to stop aid to Tigray must be reversed, states the Tigrai Universities Scholars Association (TUSA). 
  • While welcoming the investigations into the aid distribution, TUSA warns of the dire consequences of halting the food aid, as living conditions continue to deteriorate amidst lack of medical services, no salaries for public servants, no education, and no aid. 
  • More than 200,000 former Tigray fighters are being rehabilitated and receiving assistance to return to their post-war civil life, announced the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance. 
  • This initiative is a part of a broader rehabilitation program, with a budget estimation of 29.7 billion Birr, targeting rehabilitation of fighters in northern and other parts of Ethiopia. 

Situation in Ethiopia (per 22 May)

  • Ethiopian opposition politician and journalist Eskinder Nega formed the Amhara Popular Front party for Fano and other Amhara militia.
  • Speeches against the Tigray people were reportedly heard during the celebration of Eritrean Independence Day held by the Eritrean diaspora in Addis Ababa. 
  • 10 people were killed and 12 injured by Murle tribe militants from South Sudan in a cross border attack in Nuer zone of Gambella region, Ethiopia. 
  • Fighting continues in Oromia, where OLA has reportedly attacked 7 prisons and freed political prisoners.
  • The media licence of Mahibere Kidusan TV, affiliated with Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, was temporarily suspended by the Ethiopian Media Authority for inciting clashes between followers.

Regional Situation (per 22 May)

  • Tensions in Al Fashaga at the border between Ethiopia and Sudan may escalate as Amhara militias may take the opportunity to reclaim land as SAF is distracted, warns ACAPS. 

International Situation (per 22 May)

  • The UN Security Council was briefed by the Special Representative and head of UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS)  Volker Perthes about the 90-day update report of 16 May.
  • The mandate of UNITAMS is set to expire on 3 June, but may be extended by 6 months.

Links of interest

Agreement on a Short-Term Ceasefire and Humanitarian Arrangements in Sudan
SUDAN: Clashes between SAF and RSF – Flash Update No. 13 (21 May 2023)
Latest ceasefire in Sudan violated within hours, as humanitarian crisis worsens
RSF adviser calls for a permanent ceasefire in Sudan
Important statement from Malik Agar
Fleeing Sudan, U.S. Diplomats Shredded Passports and Stranded Locals
Al-Burhan dispatches deputy Agar to South Sudan for talks with Kiir
Sudan conflict: The Eritrean refugees caught between two crises
ከ200 ሺሕ በላይ የትግራይ ክልል ተዋጊዎችን መልሶ የማቋቋም ሥራ መጀመሩን መንግሥት አስታወቀ
Sudan: Briefing and Consultations
News: Fresh cross border attack by South Sudan’s Murle militants kill 10, injure 12 in Gambella region
News: Media authority temporarily suspends license of Orthodox Church affiliated TV
ACAPS Thematic report – Sudan crisis: consequences for Ethiopia
Joint Statement: NGOs call out climate injustice and urge global donors to fully fund the humanitarian response in the HoA now

Disclaimer: All information in this Situation Report is presented as a fluid update report, as to the best knowledge and understanding of the authors at the moment of publication. EEPA does not claim that the information is correct but verifies to the best of ability within the circumstances. Publication is weighed on the basis of interest to understand potential impacts of events (or perceptions of these) on the situation. Check all information against updates and other media. EEPA does not take responsibility for the use of the information or impact thereof. All information reported originates from third parties and the content of all reported and linked information remains the sole responsibility of these third parties. Report to any additional information and corrections.