Sudan rivals could use drones to monitor 24-hour truce

Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces are continuing indirect talks

An Israeli Heron military drone flies over the southern Israeli city of Ashdod near the border with Gaza in 2019. AFP
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Sudan’s warring parties have discussed a potential 24-hour ceasefire deal that would be monitored by surveillance drones.

Fighting across the three cities that make up Sudan's greater capital region – Khartoum, Bahri and Omdurman – has picked up after a 12-day ceasefire between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces formally expired on June 3. It was breached repeatedly.

A new ceasefire is now being considered, a representative from the RSF said.

“The proposal includes imposing sanctions on the party that will violate the truce, and negotiations will be suspended permanently in the event that the two sides do not adhere to them,” Mustafa Ibrahim, a member of the advisory office of the commander of the RSF, told the Arab World News Agency.

The RSF representative said that monitoring of the truce by the US and Saudi Arabia, which are mediating negotiations, “will be more rigorous, and it will be done through surveillance drones”.

The RSF, in the eighth week of a power struggle with the Sudanese army, attacked the heavily protected Yarmouk complex on Tuesday, witnesses said.

The group posted videos on Wednesday in which it claimed to have taken over a warehouse filled with weapons and ammunition.

A joint Saudi-US statement released on Tuesday said delegations from Sudan’s army and the RSF were continuing indirect talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

The talks aim to outline ways to allow humanitarian aid to reach those in need, as well as steps that both parties must take before officially resuming the Jeddah talks.

Several countries that make up the Friends of Sudan group called on the warring parties to fully return to the negotiation table in Jeddah “to resolve issues related to violations, and to reach a ceasefire agreement that will be fully respected".

The statement, signed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the EU, expressed deep concern about the “continuing violence and the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Sudan", in addition to reports of human rights breaches and the looting of humanitarian aid.

Updated: June 08, 2023, 7:17 AM