Sudan’s conflict has continued for a seventh continuous week, where fighting has propelled the nation into an all-out war since fighting between duelling generals from the Sudanese army and its rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out on April 15.
The country has plunged into a humanitarian crisis, with more than 1,800 people killed, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, and at least 1.6 million displaced within the country or across its borders, the United Nations has said, with many fleeing to Egypt, Chad and South Sudan.On the ground, multiple ceasefires have been violated by both parties and Saudi and United States-brokered peace negotiations have now been suspended.
Here’s the latest on the conflict:
US imposes sanctions
On Thursday, the US imposed the first sanctions related to the conflict in Sudan, warning that it will “hold accountable” all those undermining peace in the northeast African country.
The sanctions targeted firms associated with the conflict’s actors, including those controlled by RSF chief Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo in the United Arab Emirates and the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, as well as two defence firms linked to the Sudanese Armed Forces, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.The White House also said it was imposing visa restrictions “against actors who are perpetuating the violence”, but did not identify them.
The sanctions are targeted to affect those companies in a way that would make the warring parties have less ammunition to fight and force them back to the negotiating table, according to Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, who was reporting from Sudan.
Fragile ceasefire and suspended talks
The US and Saudi Arabia suspended ceasefire talks late on Thursday due to repeated violations of multiple ceasefires, the countries said in a joint statement.The Sudanese army backed out of the talks a day earlier, saying the RSF is not implementing parts of an agreement that had been signed days prior.
The Biden administration has said that it is still coordinating with its mediator counterpart Saudi Arabia, as well as the African Union and other actors in the region, to urge the warring sides to end the conflict.
In a pattern marking continued violations of ceasefires, residents said heavy artillery fire could be heard in cities in Khartoum state on Thursday, including in northern Omdurman and Khartoum North.
The firing occurred despite a ceasefire that was meant to run until Saturday evening.
“Fighting has […] increased or intensified since the Sudanese army suspended its participation two days ago from the talks,” said Al Jazeera’s Morgan.
More artillery shelling took place in the southern part of the capital, Khartoum, on Thursday, Morgan added, with the Sudanese army trying to take control of a military base there that belongs to the RSF.
Outside Khartoum, the region of Darfur continues to be a hotbed of violence. A regional rights group said this past week alone at least 50 people have been killed in the westernmost city of el-Geneina, which has been experiencing a communications blackout for more than 10 days.