The Sudanese Al-Ahdath newspaper, citing Sudanese military sources, said the International Red Cross had begun talks with the Rapid Support Forces, which have occupied the radio and television building in Omdurman since the beginning of the war on 15 April. have taken. With the aim of surrendering through a negotiation process due to the siege imposed on it for more than a month.
An army source confirmed to the newspaper that they agreed to the Red Cross' invitation for talks because of the prisoners' presence on radio and television, and said that, at the request of the Red Cross, they postponed the attack that had been planned for the previous year. The plan was made for weeks. The source confirmed to the newspaper that he refused to let the Rapid Support fighters leave with their weapons.
Armed Forces units and Special Action Forces teams, which were deployed 500 meters from the television on the southern side, tightened their siege of the Radio and Television buildings, cutting off the supply of Rapid Support Forces inside the building .
Eyewitnesses confirmed that Rapid Support Forces released some of their prisoners over radio and television inside. The newspaper also reported that another group that occupied the home of late Ummah Party leader Sadiq al-Mahdi has also expressed willingness to surrender, but the Red Cross has not reached an agreement. them yet. The newspaper said it contacted the Red Cross regarding the issue, but did not receive any response.
Foreign Ministry condemns cut in communication
On the other hand, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said what it called the Rapid Support Militia had cut off telephone communications and the internet in large parts of the country over the past few days.
“This crime will have a devastating impact on economic and humanitarian conditions, and will add to the ongoing suffering of civilians,” the statement said yesterday, Monday.
The statement indicated that cutting communication and internet services means stopping bank transfers and digital financial services, which have become a lifeline for a large section of citizens in the light of cessation of many economic activities and means of livelihood . The flow of humanitarian services, including treatment, aid, and efforts to rescue stranded people, was hampered, with communication between Sudanese people inside and outside the country and between different states impossible.
The statement acknowledged that what it called “the militia's criminal behavior” provides “new evidence that it is implementing an entire plan, under the supervision of its external sponsors, to destroy state infrastructure and components in Sudan.” “, and in its implementation it seeks the assistance of foreign mercenaries,” according to its description.
The statement indicated that Rapid Support Forces had previously seized the main centers of telecommunications companies, and accused them of “looting and vandalizing a large number of branches and equipment of telecommunications companies, especially in Darfur states, causing long-term damage” to the network there.
According to the statement, the Foreign Ministry called on the international community, international, regional and humanitarian organizations, and governments of countries interested in building peace in Sudan to condemn “this barbaric crime.”
cut off from the world
An expert and former official at the Sudanese Communications Authority told Al Jazeera that the Rapid Support Forces had already ordered the Sudanese and MTN communications companies to cut communications and internet services to 36 million subscribers in the country, because Sudatel was using it. Was unable to maintain. Fiber network cable. Light traffic in Darfur due to the war, which has left many Darfur states cut off from telecommunications and internet service.
The former Communications Authority official – who preferred to remain anonymous – confirmed that the Rapid Support Force controls the areas where the main servers of both companies are located, and warned that the problem goes beyond interruptions in communications and the Internet. Banking applications are affected, and key servers are randomly shut down or sabotaged, making them difficult to operate. A restart could leave Sudan completely cut off from the world for a long period of time.
Employees of telecommunications companies in Sudan told Al Jazeera that telecommunications and internet services are facing security and logistics problems, leading to the suspension of the country's two major telecommunications companies, in addition to the exclusion of the entire state from coverage. Have become.
The former official expected that the Kuwaiti company “Zain” (the largest operator in Sudan) would join the South African companies “Sudanese” and “MTN”, which represents an alarming development and a clear violation of human rights during the war. , He said.
Sudanese human rights organizations and activists expressed concern that the Internet outage, which continued for the third consecutive day, would affect the humanitarian situation in the country and create conditions for new crimes.
From mid-April 2023, the Sudanese army, led by the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Force, led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti) – who was the Vice-President of the Sovereignty Council before the outbreak of the conflict – a The war is waging a war that has killed more than 13,000 people and displaced more than 7 million. According to the United Nations, a refugee.