Salaries and services to be 'prioritised' in Sudan, vows Sovereign Council

Deputy head of council also promises to create road map to political peace that will lead to elections

Sudanese soldiers mark Army Day in Gadaref State near the border with Ethiopia on August 14. AFP
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The formation of a caretaker government, prioritising humanitarian assistance and ensuring services are restored for the Sudanese people are “priorities” for the ruling Sovereign Council, its deputy head said on Tuesday.

In a televised statement, Malik Agar said it was important for “a political road map towards peace” involving military and civilian elements to be formed, beginning with a ceasefire between the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, which have been at war since April 15.

Mr Agar said steps would be taken to enable the import of food and other essentials including medicine through Sudan's ports, after doctors and aid groups sounded the alarm over deaths caused by a lack of medication and functioning hospitals.

Mr Agar, who replaced RSF head Gen Mohamed Dagalo on the council in May, apologised for “failing to set up a Sudanese state” and promised the body would “exert all efforts” to end the war.

He added that a political road map would be established to “eliminate any existence of paramilitary forces” outside of the Sudanese army.

A meeting was held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Tuesday, during which a plan for “a transitional period and elections” was proposed, he said.

Sudan cannot exist with the presence of “two armies”, Mr Agar added, referring to the RSF.

Efforts have been ongoing to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table after several ceasefires failed to hold, with the aim of enabling humanitarian aid to flow to areas where it is most needed.

So far, more than one million Sudanese have fled the country, UN figures show. At least 70 per cent of hospitals in the capital Khartoum are out of service.

On Monday, Sudan's army head Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan accused the RSF of committing “every possible crime” since the fighting began, including looting private properties, engaging in sexually assault and torturing civilians.

Updated: August 15, 2023, 6:42 PM