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Armed Opposition and the Sudanese Army Agree on a 24-hour Cease-Fire

  • Posted on April 19, 2023
  • News

According to reports in Arab media, the Sudanese army and the opposing forces have been fighting since the weekend. It reached a temporary cease-fire on Tuesday that will last for 24 hours.  

The fighting since Saturday has caused pandemonium throughout the country, including in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Millions of Sudanese have been hiding in their houses in the capital and other major cities as the two factions fight for control, with each general so far adamant that he will crush the other.

After a strike in Khartoum Smoke rises over the horizon as a fire burns (Image :AP/PTI)

Top military official Shams El Din Kabbashi was quoted as declaring that the military would abide by the cease-fire in reporting on the satellite networks Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera. Earlier,  that the military would participate in the day-long ceasefire, citing Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, the commander of the nation’s armed forces.

The development happened a day after a U.S. Embassy convoy in Sudan came under fire and after the two competing sides of armies engaged in a fourth day of heavy-handed combat.

The assault on the convoy in Khartoum, together with an attack on the apartment of the EU envoy and shelling of the residence of the Norwegian ambassador, signaled a further escalation of the fighting’s turmoil.

Millions of Sudanese have been hiding in their houses in the capital and other major cities as the two factions fight for control, with each general so far adamant that he will crush the other.

military would abide by the cease-fire in reporting on the satellite networks Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera
US Embassay convoy came under fire in Sudan

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters that the attack on the convoy of plainly identified U.S. Embassy cars on Monday was connected by early indications to the Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitary group battling Sudan’s military. He claimed that everyone in the convoy was secure.

According to U.N. numbers, which could not differentiate between civilians and fighters, more than 185 people have died and more than 1,800 have been injured since fighting broke out on Saturday.

At least 144 civilians were killed and more nearly, 1400 were injured, according to the Sudan Doctors Syndicate on Tuesday. Conflict in Khartoum has made it difficult to remove some dead, which could result in a substantially higher overall death toll.

Late on Monday, the State Department confirmed that Blinken had telephone conversations with the two opposing generals, Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of the RSF, and the head of the armed forces, Gen. Burhan.

At the Group of Seven wealthy nations conference on Tuesday in Japan, Blinken told reporters, “I made very plain that any attacks, threats, or hazards posed to our ambassadors were utterly unacceptable. In order to provide the groundwork for a lengthier cease-fire and a restart of talks, he pleaded for an immediate 24-hour cease-fire.

After speaking with Blinken, Dagalo claimed in a series of tweets on Tuesday that he had sanctioned a 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire.

In a statement, the military stated that it was “not aware of any coordination with mediators” regarding a ceasefire and that more troops would be added to the conflict. The conflict had “entered the decisive phase,” it declared, and the RSF would suffer a “crushing defeat” in the hours to come.

Residents claim that more military tanks and armored vehicles arrived in Khartoum early on Tuesday and were making their way to the Republican Palace, which serves as the military’s headquarters and the seat of authority. Fighter jets flew overhead during the night, and anti-craft fire illuminated the sky.

Early on Tuesday, fighting broke out again at the major bases of both sides and at important government structures, all of which are located in residential neighborhoods. A big explosion that created a massive cloud of smoke and dust was captured on camera by the Arab TV network Al-Arabiya in central Khartoum.

Damage was visible in Khartoum on Monday according to satellite photographs taken by Maxar Technologies, including security service facilities. At a bridge across the White Nile River and other points in the capital of Sudan, tanks stood to watch.

Around 20 damaged military and civilian planes were visible in Monday’s satellite photographs from Planet Labs PBC, which were also taken at Khartoum International Airport, which contains a military sector.

One was still spitting smoke, while others had been entirely demolished. Several fighter jets were among the wrecked aircraft at the El Obeid and Merowe air bases, located north and south of Khartoum, respectively.

Just when the Sudanese were attempting to resurrect the movement for a democratic, civilian government after decades of military control, the violence revived the specter of civil war.

Tens of thousands of soldiers from each side are already dispersed across Khartoum’s neighborhoods and Omdurman, a city on the other bank of the Nile River. Gun battles, artillery barrages, and airstrikes, this has brought conflict and turmoil to the scared citizens of the cities.

Residents have said that fighters have looted homes and shops. One local near Khartoum’s Arabic Market neighborhood claimed to have witnessed a gang of armed men wearing RSF uniforms breaking down shop doors and robbing merchants of products, including mobile phones.

The paramilitary group refuted the allegations and asserted that some individuals broke into homes while posing as RSF soldiers. The attacks on the houses of diplomats were another indication that the violence was getting out of hand.

Josep Borrell, the head of foreign policy for the European Union, stated in a tweet on Monday that the EU ambassador to Sudan “was assaulted in his own residency,” without providing any other information.

According to a Western official in Cairo, armed men wearing RSF insignia trashed the home. The diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, claimed that no one was wounded but that the armed men seized many goods.

The RSF blamed the military and denied any role in the attack. The attacks on the U.S. convey and the residence of the EU envoy were attributed by the military to the RSF, which sprung from the renowned Janjaweed rebels in Sudan’s Darfur area.

the opposing forces have been fighting since the weekend. It reached a temporary cease-fire on Tuesday
shows destoryed airplans in Khartoum International Airport Satellite image by Maxar Technologies

Anniken Huitfeldt, the foreign minister of Norway, stated in a statement that a shell had struck the residence of the Norwegian ambassador in Khartoum early on Sunday. She added that although there was damage from the hit, the ambassador was unharmed and it didn’t seem like the property was deliberately targeted.

Volker Turk, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to discussions on Tuesday. Sudan has already gone through a great deal of grief and suffering.

The fighting is the result of power struggles and vested personal interests, which only serve to alienate the populace’s desire for democracy, according to a statement from Turk. Sudan sparked hope only four years ago after a populist revolt assisted in the overthrow of longtime dictatorial leader Omar al-Bashir.

An October 2021 coup, which Burhan and Dagalo jointly planned, failed to establish a civilian administration. Both army's generals have clamped down on pro-democracy campaigners, and both have a lengthy history of violating human rights.

Recently, political parties and pro-democracy organizations reached a framework deal with Burhan and Dagalo under international pressure. The signing, however, was frequently postponed as unrest broke out on Saturday over the RSF’s integration into the military and the future chain of command.

Magdy provided a report from Cairo. Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Mathew Lee in Karuizawa, Japan, both of the Associated Press, contributed to this report.



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