The reported temporary ceasefire in Sudan is a potential lifesaver for civilians who have been trapped in their homes without the ability to access food, clean water, and medical care.
Street battles and the use of heavy explosive weapons in Khartoum have had a devastating impact on civilians and critical infrastructure over the last week, forcing many to flee or seek shelter.
Patrick Youssef, ICRC’s regional director for Africa, said: “Khartoum is a densely populated city of millions. When heavy explosive weapons are used, street corners become battlefields, and civilians pay the greatest price. Hundreds have been killed and thousands injured, a heart-breaking outcome of this violence.
“We welcome the reports of a ceasefire and urge the international community to help find a durable political solution to end the bloodshed. It’s clear that this ceasefire must be implemented up and down the chain of command and that it must hold for it to give a real respite to civilians suffering from the fighting.”
Hospitals are increasingly unable to care for patients as medical staff cannot get to work and supplies run out. Violence in other parts of the country, such as in Darfur, has also led to civilian casualties and growing humanitarian needs.
The ICRC is urging the parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law.
“The parties must take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injuries and loss of life. Critical civilian infrastructure like hospitals and the energy network must also be protected. This is not optional. These are legal obligations,” Mr Youssef said.
The ICRC remains committed to assisting those in need and asks the sides for guarantees to move safely for humanitarian purposes. Our top priority is to increase assistance to hospitals, and to help ensure that communities have access to clean water.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).