Sudanese army, paramilitaries agree to 3-day truce

Khartoum, Apr 21 (EFE).- Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group agreed Friday to a three-day truce for Eid al Fitr, the feast that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The ceasefire proposal was made Thursday by the United Nations and while the RSF signaled acceptance early Friday, the army did not respond to the initiative until the evening.

The Sudanese Armed Forces said that the suspension of fighting will “allow citizens to celebrate Eid al-Fitr” as facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid and assistance.

“The armed forces hope that the rebels will abide by all the requirements of the truce and stop any military moves that would obstruct it,” the army said in a statement.

Within hours, however, the army accused the RSF of violating the ceasefire with attacks in Khartoum on targets including Air Defense headquarters and a police station.

RSF fighters also occupied houses in the capital “to use civilians as human shields,” the army said.

Earlier Friday, Gen. Abdelfatah al Burhan, the armed forces chief and president of the Sovereign Council, promised to oversee a transition to a civilian government, once the army has defeated the RSF.

“We are confident that we will overcome this ordeal with wisdom and strength, in a way that preserves the security and unity of the country and allows us to ensure a transition to a civilian government,” he said in his first speech since the fighting began last Saturday.

The RSF, which developed from the Janjaweed militias accused of committing crimes against humanity during the 2003-2008 Darfur conflict, has emerged as a rival to the army since the toppling of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Yet RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, backed Al Burhan in October 2021 when the general seized control of the Sovereignty Council, which took charge following the ouster of Al-Bashir.

The start of hostilities came amid conservations about a military restructuring that would see the RSF incorporated into the army.

Fighting continued throughout the day on Friday, according to EFE reporters.

At least 413 people have been killed and 3,551 injured in Sudan since the outbreak of the conflict, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Thursday that between 10,000 and 20,000 people have left the Darfur region of western Sudan and taken refuge in Chad since the conflict began. EFE az-sr-ijm/ks-dr

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