Relative calm in Sudan as 72-hour ceasefire takes effect

Sami Hegazi
6 Min Read

Sudan witnessed on Tuesday “relative stability” following the ceasefire announced by Washington between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) after 10 days of battles. 

The two parties agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire on Tuesday as Arab, Western, and Asian countries raced against time to evacuate their nationals from the war-torn country.

The Sudanese military said Saudi Arabia and the United States had brokered the truce. The agreement was first announced by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who said it came after two days of intensive negotiations. The two sides have not adhered to several previous temporary truce agreements.

Fights broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF on 15 April, killing at least 427 people, disrupting hospitals and other services, and turning residential areas into battlefields.

The RSF in Khartoum confirmed their agreement to a ceasefire from midnight to facilitate humanitarian efforts. “We confirm our commitment during the period of the declared truce to a complete ceasefire,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese armed forces accused the RSF in a press statement on Tuesday of continuing to loot the property of Sudanese citizens, pointing to the encroachment of rapid support on the headquarters of diplomatic missions and firing shots at several foreign embassies.

It has received a report from the embassy of the Sultanate of Oman to occupy the embassy headquarters completely and steal a vehicle following the diplomatic mission.

The Sudanese army confirmed its commitment to the truce that was announced for a 72-hour ceasefire, noting that it has been monitoring many violations by the RSF since the early hours of Tuesday, pointing to the continuation of military movements of rapid support inside and outside the capital and trying to occupy positions and restrict the movements of citizens.

The army drew attention to the presence of a heavy movement of varying groups towards the Jili refinery to exploit the truce in controlling the refinery to create a crisis in fuel supplies throughout the country. 

The Sudanese army noted that it reserves its full right to deal with these serious violations and attempts of rapid support in exploiting them to save their deteriorating operational position.

On the other hand, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the ongoing violence in Sudan between the warring parties “portends the risk of a catastrophic flare-up inside the country that could spread to the entire region and beyond,” adding during a discussion at the UN Security Council that the situation in this country “continues to deteriorate.

“I am in constant contact with the parties to the conflict and call on them to defuse tensions and return to the negotiating table.

His comments came after the UN announced the evacuation of a number of its staff from Sudan, while the head of its mission, Volker Pertis, will remain in the country. “I will be clear: the United Nations is not going to leave Sudan,” Guterres said, adding that the international body is “reorganizing our presence in Sudan so that we can continue our support for the Sudanese people.

The ongoing battles between the army and the RSF in Sudan have prompted many countries to intensify their efforts to evacuate their nationals and members of their diplomatic missions by land, sea and air in the absence of any horizon to end the clashes.

While the main airport in Khartoum is the scene of heavy fighting with RSF controlling it, several evacuations are taking place through the port of Port Sudan on the Red Sea, located 850 kilometers from the capital, while Djibouti is a base station for air evacuation operations, where military aircraft transporting civilians from Sudan land.

So far, several countries have announced the completion of evacuation operations for citizens and diplomats from Sudan, including the United States, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden, Britain, Norway, Poland, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, and Tunisia.

“A total of 446 Egyptians in Sudan have been evacuated by land and 189 others, in coordination with the Sudanese authorities,” said Ahmed Abu Zeid, the spokesperson of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Egyptian embassy in Khartoum and all Egyptian consulates in Khartoum and Port Sudan, and the Wadi Halfa Consular Office are continuing their efforts around the clock to evacuate citizens, he added, noting that the number of evacuees so far has reached 1,539.

“Meanwhile, work is underway to evacuate a number of Egyptians and their families from an airport near Khartoum as soon as security improves there,” concluded Abu Zeid 

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