Latest Sudanese truce bring relative calm to Khartoum
Khartoum, May 23 (EFE).- Residents of this capital experienced a reduction in violence Tuesday as the latest in series of cease-fires between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) appeared to be holding, though the sides continued to to accuse each other of bad faith.
The health ministry said that the RSF took control of a hospital in Khartoum on Tuesday, bringing to 28 the number of health facilities nationwide seized by the paramilitaries.
Rebels entered Al-Ban Jadeed University Hospital, the only remaining functioning hospital on the east side of Khartoum, “attacked the personnel, expelled the patients, and put it out of service,” the ministry said.
The RSF accused government ministries of “publishing lies and disinformation” and denied that it was holding Khartoum’s Ahmed Qasem Hospital, without mentioning Al-Ban Jadeed.
One of the main provisions of the new cease-fire, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, bars the use of civilian installations for military purposes in line with an emphasis on protecting noncombatants and ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid.
More than 70 percent of Sudan’s hospitals have been taken out of commission since the conflict began on April 15.
A novel feature of the latest truce is the creation of a monitoring mechanism comprising three representatives each from the US, Saudi Arabia, the Sudanese Armed Forces, and the RSF.
While none of the seven previous cease-fires was effective, Tuesday passed without battles in Khartoum or nearby Omdurman, the cities that have borne the brunt of the fighting.
Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) said Tuesday that its attempts to expand operations in Sudan in response to the conflict have been impeded by violence.
“Medecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) condemns the unacceptable harassment of our staff and the violent looting and occupation of our medical premises and supported facilities in Sudan. Staff and patients are repeatedly facing the trauma of armed groups entering and looting MSF premises, with medicines, supplies and vehicles being stolen,” the organization said in a statement.
More than 700 civilians have been killed in the fighting, while upwards of 5,000 have been wounded, according to the United Nations, which puts the number of displaced people at 1.1 million. EFE az-se-rsm/dr