CAIRO/DUBAI, May 26 (Reuters) – Sudan’s army called on Friday for reservists and retired soldiers to re-enlist amid a deadly conflict with a rival paramilitary and asked the United Nations to change its envoy to the country.
The call to former soldiers to present themselves at their nearest military base looked aimed at strengthening the army in its battle with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary, but may add fuel to the conflict days into a truce.
Sporadic fighting has continued all week, though the ceasefire monitors Saudi Arabia and the United States said earlier on Friday that compliance was improving, but the army moves may indicate it is gearing up for a long conflict.
An army spokesperson said enlistment would be voluntary. Sudan’s existing armed forces law says, however, that retired soldiers remain as reservists, eligible for compulsory re-enlistment. That does not include those who only did Sudan’s mandatory two-year military service.
Despite a drop in fighting, there have still been reports throughout the week of clashes, artillery fire and air strikes.
Saudi and U.S. representatives “cautioned the parties against further violations and implored them to improve respect for the ceasefire on May 25, which they did,” it added.
Residents of Khartoum who have stayed in the city suffer from breakdowns of electricity, water, health and communication services.
Many homes, particularly in well-off areas, have been looted, along with food stores, flour mills and other essential facilities.