Sudan's RSF declares a 72-hour ceasefire amid violence in Khartoum

Thousands have fled Khartoum because of the fighting with many others trying to leave. (Photo: El-Tayeb Siddig/Reuters)

Despite sustained heavy fighting with the army in Khartoum's capital, Sudan's paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has announced it will soon begin a ceasefire.

The RSF announced in a statement that it would observe a 72-hour armistice beginning at 6:00 a.m. (04:00 GMT) on Friday, the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

"The armistice coincides with the blessed Eid al-Fitr, and humanitarian corridors will be opened to evacuate citizens and give them the opportunity to greet their families," stated the statement.

In the early hours of Friday, Khartoum was jolted by heavy shelling, and the RSF accused the army of launching a "sweeping attack" on the capital.

In the north of the city, an Al Jazeera correspondent reported an exchange of fire between the RSF and the army a few minutes before the truce was scheduled to begin.

There was no indication whether the army would observe a ceasefire.

Since the violent power struggle between the army commanded by General Abd al-Fattah al-Burhan and the RSF, led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, erupted over the weekend, there have been a number of failed ceasefires. The two men were formerly allies as leaders of Sudan's military administration.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres was among the prominent international leaders who recently urged the warring factions to observe a three-day ceasefire during Eid and enable civilians to reach safety.

At least 350 individuals have been slain in the conflict thus far.

Thousands of civilians have fled Khartoum, and many others have crossed into Chad to escape the violence in Darfur's western region.

The United Nations refugee agency informed Al Jazeera that the "vast majority" of those who had crossed into Chad were women and children.

Kathryn Mahoney, a global spokesperson for the UNHCR, remarked that the violence in Sudan signaled a "pretty significant displacement crisis" as there were already more than a million refugees in Sudan prior to the battle between the army and RSF.

Publish : 2023-04-21 12:47:00

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