UAE hails Egyptian role in resolving Sudan crisis; internet, mobile networks cut in Khartoum - GulfToday

UAE hails Egyptian role in resolving Sudan crisis; internet, mobile networks cut in Khartoum


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi poses for a group photo after a meeting of leaders of Sudan's neighbour states in Cairo on Thursday. Reuters

Sudan's warring factions fought heavily in parts of the city of Bahri on Friday, residents said, a day after both sides welcomed a new mediation effort that seeks to end a three-month war.

The UAE welcomed the final statement issued by the Sudan's neighbouring countries summit held in Cairo, which underscored the importance of protecting Sudan, preserving its capabilities, preventing its disintegration, and urging full respect for Sudan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as non-interference in its internal affairs. The UAE praised the Egyptian role in the matter.

War-torn Sudan's capital experienced a communications blackout for several hours, residents said, as the army and paramilitary forces waged intense battles across Khartoum and humanitarian groups warned of worsening crises.

"Violent clashes" shook the capital, witnesses told AFP over the phone, after residents woke up to an outage of vital internet and mobile phone connections. The source of the malfunction was not clear, though mobile and internet networks were restored by the afternoon. Throughout the day, columns of black smoke were seen rising near army headquarters in the centre of Khartoum as well as in the city's south. Other eyewitnesses reported clashes around an army base in southern Khartoum as well.

In a statement, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) commended the efforts of the Arab Republic of Egypt in organising this summit, stressing the importance of intensifying efforts towards a ceasefire, returning to the political framework and dialogue, and advancing in the transitional phase to reach the desired political and security stability in Sudan.

The Ministry underscored its firm position in support of an immediate ceasefire in order to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis between the concerned parties in a way that enhances the stability of Sudan and meets the aspirations of its people for development and growth.

Regional and international mediation efforts have so far failed to end the fighting and UN officials have said Sudan could slide into civil war. The latest mediation attempt was launched in Egypt on Thursday. Both the army, which has close ties to Egypt, and the RSF paramilitary group welcomed the effort.

The summit of African leaders urged an end to the fighting, as UN experts reported a mass grave had been discovered in the country's Darfur region. The International Criminal Court (ICC) meanwhile said it has opened a new probe into alleged war crimes, after increased reports of atrocities, particularly in Darfu, including of sexual violence, in Sudan, adding that the escalating violence was a "matter of great concern."

Leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Libya as well as of the African Union and Arab League met in Cairo to discuss the war and its regional impact.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi hailed the "noble efforts" of Sudan's neighbours in "receiving hundreds of thousands of refugees with limited resources in an extremely difficult global economic situation."

He called on the international community "to honour the commitments" made last month when donors pledged $1.5 billion in aid — less than half the estimated need for Sudan and its affected neighbours.

The summit called on both parties to secure corridors for urgently needed aid, even as Sudan's humanitarian crisis deepened. Hundreds of people were seen queueing for drinking water in Wad Madani, 200 kilometres south of Khartoum, and a 24-hour electricity blackout hit most of the country.

The summit followed multiple diplomatic efforts to mediate an end to the violence, after successive US and Saudi-brokered ceasefires were all violated. It echoed calls for a ceasefire made earlier in the week at talks held by east African bloc IGAD, which the Sudanese army had boycotted.


WAM / Agencies

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