New Sudanese ceasefire has been declared, but doubts still remains

US Secretary of State Anthony Blincoln said the warring parties in Sudan had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire starting at midnight (22:00 GMT).

At least the third ceasefire was declared since the violence began this month, but it has not been followed. Blinken said an agreement with the Sudan Army and the Paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF) had been reached after 48 hours of negotiations. At least 400 people are known to have been killed since hostilities broke out. In a statement supporting Mr Blinken’s statement, RSF said, “We reaffirm our commitment to a complete ceasefire during the period of armistice.”

The military has yet to comment publicly. Residents of the capital, Khartoum, have been ordered to stay at home as food and water supplies have run out since violence broke out just a week ago. The bombardment damaged key infrastructure such as water pipes, forcing some people to drink water from the Nile. It is hoped that the truce will allow civilians to leave the city. Foreign governments also hope this will allow them to withdraw from the country. Countries sought to evacuate diplomats and civilians as fighting raged in the capital’s densely populated central area. Sudan is experiencing an “internet blackout” with connectivity at 2% of normal levels, monitoring group NetBlocks said on Monday.

In Khartoum, the internet has been down since Sunday evening. Violence erupted on April 15, mainly in the capital, Khartoum, between rival military factions fighting for control of Africa’s third-largest country. This came after days of tension as RSF members, whom the Army considered a threat, were redeployed across the country. Since a 2021 coup, Sudan has been run by a council of generals, led by the two military men at the centre of this dispute Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the armed forces and in effect the country’s president, and his deputy and leader of the RSF, Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti.

They have disagreed on the direction the country is going in and the proposed move towards civilian rule. The main sticking points are plans to include the 100,000-strong RSF into the army, and who would then lead the new force. Gen Dagalo has accused Gen Burhan’s government of being “radical Islamists” and that he and the RSF were “fighting for the people of Sudan to ensure the democratic progress for which they have so long yearned”. Many find this message hard to believe, given the brutal track record of the RSF. General Burkhan said he supported a return to civilian rule but would only hand over power to an elected government.

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