Pretoria – Amid relentless fighting in Sudan between the army and paramilitary forces that has left hundreds dead and many more injured the South African government has called for a ceasefire.
On Friday – the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr – gunfire could be heard in several parts of Sudan’s capital Khartoum.
The army deployed in the city on foot for the first time in its almost week-long fight with a paramilitary force.
The fighters failed to heed an earlier call by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a temporary truce over the three-day holiday to allow civilians to reach safety.
Commenting on the unabated fighting, South Africa said it was “deeply concerned about the unfolding situation in Sudan, where violence erupted last week following a breakdown in negotiations on political and security sector reforms”.
Over a prolonged period, the people of Sudan have endured instability and strife.
The deterioration of the situation this week further complicates their yearning for a stable government that is civilian-led.
“South Africa joins the international community in its call on the parties to the conflict in Sudan to lay down their weapons, return to the negotiating table and unite the people of Sudan,” said the SA Presidency.
“South Africa sends a message of solidarity to the people of Sudan as they mark conclusion of the Holy Month of Ramadan and wishes them well during the Id-Ul-Fitr.
“The conflict in Sudan marks a setback in Africa’s efforts to silence the guns and usher in a sustained period of peace, stability and development.”
South Africa is serving as a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC).
“In this role, our country has been seized with the situation in Sudan, working with other African countries towards peace and stability in Sudan,” explained Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“South Africa supports the role played by the AU, IGAD and the East African Community (EAC) in their mediation roles in Sudan.
“We will engage directly with the leaders of the armed forces in Sudan as part of our endevours for peace in Sudan.”
South Africa reiterated its appeal to the parties involved in the conflict to heed international calls for an immediate ceasefire as unarmed civilians, including visitors from many parts of the world, remain stranded and fast running out of supplies.