Cautious calm in Sudan’s capital as new truce comes into effect

Children cycle along a street in Khartoum on June 14, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

KHARTOUM – Sudan's capital Khartoum witnessed a cautious calm on Sunday as a new humanitarian truce between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) became effective.

Both the Sudanese army and the RSF announced on Sunday their agreement to the new 72-hour truce mediated by Saudi Arabia and the United States.

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Eyewitnesses in southern Khartoum said armed clashes had stopped and warplanes activity significantly declined since the truce went into effect at 6 am local time (0400 GMT) on Sunday. 

"There is great stability. We do not hear sounds of gunfire, artillery or airstrikes," an eyewitness in Omdurman, a major city west of Khartoum, told Xinhua.

They also agreed to allow the unimpeded movement and delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout the country

The situation in Bahri (Khartoum North) city was also calm on Sunday after intensive clashes that took place in the city the day before.

In their statement, the warring parties agreed that during the cease-fire they would refrain from prohibited movements, attacks, use of military aircraft or drones, artillery strikes, reinforcement of positions and resupply of forces or seeking military advantage.

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They also agreed to allow the unimpeded movement and delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout the country.

According to the statement, should the parties fail to observe the 72-hour truce, the facilitators would be compelled to consider adjourning the Jeddah talks.

Workers unload goods arriving from Khartoum, at a market in Wad Madani, the capital of Sudan's al-Jazirah state, on June 13, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

Since May 6, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been patronizing negotiations between the Sudanese warring parties in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. Several truces have been reached since then with the two sides accusing each other of violating them.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly armed clashes between the Sudanese army and the RSF in Khartoum and other areas since April 15, which has left over 3,000 people killed and more than 6,000 injured, Al-Hadath TV Channel reported on Saturday citing the Sudanese Minister of Health.

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More than 1.9 million people have been displaced since the conflict began, fleeing to safer areas both inside and outside Sudan, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest update on Tuesday.

As of June 6, 1.4 million people had been internally displaced in Sudan and some 460,000 people, including refugees, asylum seekers and returnees, had crossed into neighboring countries, the OCHA said, citing the UN Refugee Agency.