A U.S.-brokered ceasefire in Sudan appeared to be taking hold on Tuesday, as gunfire and huge explosions erupted in the capital Khartoum, threatening tens of thousands of people who continued to struggle to flee the conflict that has engulfed Africa’s third-largest country for more than a week.
In some areas of Khartoum, residents reported low-flying warplanes and loud explosions near their homes. Many people hoped for a quiet day that would allow them to get food and water, or to flee the city altogether, with countries including Britain intending to use the pause in fighting to evacuate their own citizens.
Just hours earlier, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had announced that the two warring parties — the Sudanese army led by General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and the army led by Lieutenant General Mohammad Hamdan Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces – Agree to a nationwide ceasefire for 72 hours. During the pause, the United States had hoped to engage with other countries on a peace process that would permanently end hostilities.
Although both rival groups said late Monday that they had agreed to a ceasefire, it appeared to be non-existent by Tuesday morning, with residents reporting gunfire and shelling in the capital.Paramilitary forces also accuse the military of attack its position Near the Presidential Palace in Khartoum.
The breach was the latest in a series of ceasefire proposals that the warring sides have failed to abide by since the violence erupted on April 15 — despite a moratorium on violence during the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, which allowed diplomats to evacuate from the country.
The conflict has upended life in Sudan, with two generals vying for control of the country, killing more than 400 people and injuring another 3,700, according to the World Health Organization. Thousands of people have fled their homes and poured into neighboring countries, including Chad, Egypt and South Sudan.
Foreign governments have been evacuating their embassy officials and citizens by air or via long-distance overland convoys to Egyptian or Red Sea ports. The United Nations Mission in Sudan said on Monday that its international staff had arrived in the city of Port Sudan and would continue on to neighboring countries. Volker Perthes, the group’s special envoy to Sudan, will remain in the country, it said.
On Tuesday morning, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Announce British passport holders to be evacuated from Sudan, with priority given to the elderly and families with children. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that France had evacuated more than 500 people, including about 200 French nationals.
constant mecht Contribution report.