Truce holds in Khartoum as evacuations gather speed
Khartoum, Apr 26 (EFE).- A tense calm prevailed in Khartoum on Wednesday on the second day of a 72-hour truce reached with the mediation of the United States, even as evacuations through sea and air have picked up speed, while thousands of residents of the Sudanese capital are also fleeing to safer areas.
EFE confirmed that since the early hours of the day, sporadic explosions and gunfire could be heard in the north and west of Khartoum, but there were no concrete reports of fighting or casualties unlike earlier ceasefires announced by the military and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
These areas include the Republican Palace and the headquarters of key institutions such as the general command of the armed forces and the Khartoum airport.
The two sides had been involved in heavy fighting to control these seats of power since the conflict broke out on Apr.15.
The truce, which came into force at 10pm on Monday, has allowed a semblance of normalcy to return to the capital, where an increasing number of residents have returned to the streets since Tuesday.
Some businesses, markets, pharmacies and gas stations reopened to the relief of millions of Khartoum inhabitants, who were in dire need of water, food and medicines after remaining trapped indoors amid gunfights for more than 10 days.
Among multiple hardships, especially the shortage of basic products, the ceasefire saw a large exodus of capital residents towards safer regions in central or northern Sudan such as the Al Jazirah, White Nile and Dongola provinces.
Both the fighting parties have accused each other of misusing the ongoing ceasefire – the fifth to be announced since the fighting broke out – to bolster their troops in the capital.
However, the least number of violations have been registered during the current truce.
In the meantime, there was a surge in international evacuations – including those of humanitarian personnel – through the capital’s airport and the Port Sudan seaport on the Red Sea, which has remained relatively peaceful during the clashes.
Fighting had broken out between the Sudanese Army and the RSF following weeks of tension over the reform of the security forces during negotiations to form a new transitional government.
Over 400 people have been killed and more than 4,000 wounded in the conflict according to conservative estimated by local and international institutions, which have raised an alarm over the humanitarian situation in the African nation, already precarious due to years of political instability and corruption.
On Tuesday, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council that the conflict in Sudan could destabilize the entire region and trigger a crisis that could last for years. EFE