Airstrikes and explosions hit Khartoum again on Monday hours before a week-long ceasefire promised by the army and paramilitaries came into force to let civilians and humanitarian aid through.
For the 37th day in a row, the five million inhabitants of the Sudanese capital are in the midst of fighting, under scorching heat, most of them without water, electricity and telecommunications.
"Combat planes bombed my neighborhood," said one of them, Mahmoud Salaheddine.
Since April 15, the war between the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitaries of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo's Rapid Support Forces (FSR) has left a thousand dead and more than a million displaced and displaced. refugees.
If the conflict continues in the East African country, one of the poorest in the world, a million more Sudanese could flee to neighboring countries which fear a contagion of violence, warns the UN.
To revive services and hospitals and replenish humanitarian stocks and looted or bombed markets, the American and Saudi mediators announced that they had obtained, after two weeks of negotiations, a one-week truce from 7:45 p.m. GMT.
The two camps have announced that they want to respect this truce but in Khartoum, the inhabitants say they see no preparation.
"We see no sign that the FSR, who are still occupying the streets, are preparing to leave them," reports Mr. Salaheddine.
If the army controls the air, it has few men in the center of the capital, while the RSF, they occupy the ground in Khartoum.
Many residents accuse them of looting their homes or setting up headquarters there.
A dozen ceasefires have already been promised and immediately violated.
Despite everything, Khaled Saleh, in the suburbs of Khartoum, wants to believe it.
"With a ceasefire, running water can be restored and I can finally see a doctor for my diabetes and my hypertension," he told AFP.
Othman al-Zein, a trader in Darfur, the western region of the country worst hit by fighting with the capital, also hopes to find a way out.
"If the truce holds everywhere in Sudan, which I doubt, I will leave Nyala", in South Darfur, he told AFP, "to take shelter and save my savings".
Because, in addition to stray bullets, the Sudanese fear looting.
While 25 million of the 45 million Sudanese need humanitarian aid, according to the UN, food is becoming increasingly scarce, banks are closed and most agro-food factories have been destroyed or looted.
"We are all hungry, the children, the old, everyone is suffering from the war. We have no more water," Souad al-Fateh, a resident of Khartoum, told AFP. "The two sides really need to find an agreement."
Doctors continue to warn about the dramatic fate of hospitals: in Khartoum, as in Darfur, they are almost all out of order. Those which have not been bombed have no more stocks or are occupied by belligerents.
Humanitarians are calling for secure corridors and, this time, say Riyadh and Washington, there will be "a ceasefire monitoring mechanism" bringing together representatives of both sides as well as the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Representatives of the UN, the African Union and the East African bloc, Igad, pleaded before the Security Council in New York for "solutions" in Sudan -- the regional blocs claiming that they are African.
The UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, denounced "the fighting which continues while the two camps have pledged not to seek to take the military advantage before the entry into force of the truce".
After him, the representative of Sudan to the UN, loyal to General Burhane, accused the FSR of all the abuses recorded since April 15.
Soon after, General Daglo fired his accusations at the military in an audio recording posted online. He still calls on his men to fight "until victory or martyrdom".
Mr. Perthes had said at the start of the war that he had been "taken by surprise" by the fighting launched even though the two generals were supposed to meet to discuss democratic transition.
In October 2021, they together ousted civilians from power in a putsch and cut short the promise to hold the first free elections shortly after 30 years of Omar al-Bashir's dictatorship.
The two men then divided on the question of the integration of the FSR into the regular army.
22/05/2023 18:52:55 - Khartoum (AFP) - © 2023 AFP