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The ceasefire agreement in Sudan gives hope for aid to Khartoum

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By Khalid Abdel Aziz and Mohamed Nureldin

KHARTOUM (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Airstrikes and clashes between Sudan’s warring factions erupted in the capital Khartoum on Sunday, residents said, after a Saudi- and US-brokered deal for a week-long ceasefire did hope for a break in the five-week conflict.

The deal, signed by the army and rival paramilitary rapid support forces (RSF) on Saturday after talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah, is expected to go into effect on Monday evening with an internationally backed monitoring mechanism. It also allows for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Repeated ceasefire announcements since the conflict began on April 15 have failed to halt the fighting, but the Jeddah accord marks the first time the sides have signed a truce agreement since negotiations.

Analysts say it is unclear whether army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan or RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, are capable of imposing a ceasefire on the ground. Both have previously indicated that they are seeking victory in the war and neither has traveled to Jeddah.

The army and RSF reaffirmed their commitment to the ceasefire in statements on Sunday, even as fighting continued. Witnesses reported sporadic clashes in central and southern Khartoum on Sunday morning, followed by airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire later in the day in eastern Khartoum and Omdurman, one of the three cities that make up the capital.

Since the start of the war, 1.1 million people have fled their homes, moving within Sudan or to neighboring countries, creating a humanitarian crisis that threatens to destabilize the region.

Those still in Khartoum are struggling to survive amid mass looting, a collapse of health services and dwindling supplies of food, fuel, electricity and water.

Safaa Ibrahim, a 35-year-old Khartoum resident, told RockedBuzz via Reuters by telephone that she hoped the deal could end the conflict.

“We are tired of this war. We have been driven from our homes and the family has been scattered between the cities of Sudan and Egypt,” he said. “We want to return to normal life and security. Al-Burhan and Hemedti must respect people’s desire for life.”

According to the text of the Jeddah agreement, a committee made up of three representatives from each of the warring parties, three from Saudi Arabia and three from the United States, would monitor the ceasefire.


War has broken out in Khartoum over plans for the generals, who seized full power in a 2021 coup, to sign a transition to elections under civilian rule.

Burhan and Hemedti had held top positions in Sudan’s ruling council since former leader Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a 2019 popular uprising.

The Jeddah talks focused on granting aid and restoring essential services. Mediators say further talks would be needed to try to remove forces from urban areas to broker a permanent peace deal with civilian involvement.

“The population of Khartoum awaits the truce and the opening of humanitarian corridors,” said Mohamed Hamed, an activist in the capital. “The health situation is getting worse day by day.”

A United Nations bulletin says 34 attacks on health care have been verified during the conflict, and looting of humanitarian supplies and attacks on health facilities have continued since the two sides signed pledges to protect aid supplies and civilian infrastructure in Jeddah on 11 May.

Senior army general Yassir al-Atta told Sudanese state TV that the army has been trying to remove RSF from homes, schools and hospitals.

Millions of civilians were trapped as the army used airstrikes and shelling to target RSF forces that had settled in residential areas at the start of the fighting.

Asked about calls by some tribal leaders to arm civilians, Atta said this was unnecessary, but residents who are attacked in their homes should be able to act in self-defense. “Let them arm themselves to protect themselves, that’s a natural right,” he said.

Since the start of the conflict, unrest has flared up in other parts of Sudan, particularly in the western Darfur region.

About 705 people were killed and at least 5,287 injured, according to the World Health Organization, although the true death toll is thought to be much higher.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz in Dubai, Mohamed Nureldin in Khartoun, Nafisa Eltahir and Adam Makary in Cairo; Screenplay by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Barbara Lewis)

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