Tense calm in Sudan after Saudi-brokered 7-day ceasefire
Khartoum/Cairo, May 21 (EFE).- A fragile calm set in Sunday in the Sudanese capital Khartoum after the conflict parties penned a seven-day ceasefire intended to provide people in the strife-ravaged country with access to humanitarian aid.
Sudan’s warring military factions agreed over the weekend in the Saudi city of Jeddah to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid, protect civilians and restore security at public institutions.
Khartoum residents told Efe that no explosions or shelling were heard on Sunday, but said there were sporadic shootings in the southern and northern parts of the capital, as well as in the city of Omdurman.
No casualties or damage have been reported so far.
The ceasefire, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, was reached after representatives of the Sudanese army traveled to Jeddah to begin a dialogue with those from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group after over a month of fighting.
Egypt, where more than 107,000 Sudanese refugees have found shelter, welcomed on Sunday the ceasefire, hoping it would “lead to a permanent and comprehensive cessation of hostilities.”
“We hope that this truce will be extended after it expires, and that a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire agreement will be reached,” the foreign ministry said.
The army and the RSF have traded accusations of violating numerous ceasefires and targeting civilian facilities, including hospitals and residential buildings in the capital, since the start of clashes on April 15.
The fighting in Sudan has taken its toll on the healthcare system, leaving it on the brink of collapse with over 600 civilians dead and over 5,000 others injured.
Some 200,000 people, the vast majority of them are women and children, have been forced to flee their homes amid the fighting, according to the United Nations.EFE