Thursday, May 23, 2024

Sudan’s military rivals mull over ceasefire for Eid

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has said it would agree to a 72-hour truce from 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Friday for the Eid al-Fitr, a muslim holiday.

There has been diplomatic pressure mounting to end the fighting in Sudan which has left more than 300 people dead just within one week.

The UN, US and other countries have been pushing for a three-day truce to mark Eid al-Fitr.

Rapid Support Forces leadership announced a ceasefire on Friday after six days of fighting.

“The truce coincides with the blessed Eid al-Fitr … to open humanitarian corridors to evacuate citizens and give them the opportunity to greet their families,” the RSF said in a statement.

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The army and its chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan haven’t signalled a ceasefire in a pre-recorded speech posted on the army’s Facebook page.

“We are confident that we will overcome this ordeal with our training, wisdom and strength, preserving the security and unity of the state, allowing us to be entrusted with the safe transition to civilian rule,” he said in the speech.

Diplomatic appeal for ceasefire

UN Secretary General António Guterres appealed for a ceasefire to allow civilians to reach safety.

The Eid ceasefire “must be the first step in providing respite from the fighting and paving the way for a permanent ceasefire”, Mr Guterres said.

“This ceasefire is absolutely crucial at the present moment,” he added.

Residents of Khartoum and its sister city Bahri though say gunfire continues to be heard with Sudanese troops deployed in the cities.

The regular army is fighting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over control of the country.

The fighting that broke out between army units loyal to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the RSF, led by deputy leader, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti.

The military and RSF, have been fighting for power amid negotiations towards forming a transitional government after a 2021 military coup.

It is the first of such clashes since both joined forces to oust president Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 2019.

The fighting followed rising tensions over the RSF’s integration into the military. The disagreement over the timetable for that has delayed the signing of an internationally backed agreement with political parties on a transition to democracy.

Sudan’s military power struggle leaves almost 100 people dead


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