Friday, May 24, 2024

Sudan: Eid Brings Another Failed Ceasefire to Warring Parties

A 24-hour ceasefire deal agreed in Sudan on the eve of the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday was breached Wednesday amid ongoing violance between the country’s army and rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Residents reported heavy gunfire in parts of the capital Khartoum as well as artillery strikes and air strikes launched by the Sudanese army on RSF positions.

Negotiations between the warring parties to the conflict are currently on hold despite generals on both sides announcing “unilateral” ceasefires over the religious holiday.

In a televised address, Sudan’s army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, also called on young men to defend the country either at home or by joining the armed forces.

“The conspiracy requires of everyone to be awake and ready to respond to the existential threats to our country, and so we call on all the young men and who can defend to not hesitate to play this role,” Burhan said.

In an audio recording posted on Facebook, RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti“, said: “We are declaring a unilateral ceasefire, except for self-defence situations, on the eve of Eid and on the day of Eid al-Adha.”

Empty streets

Hemedti said he hoped Eid, the Festival of Sacrifice, would provide an opportunity for reconciliation among the Sudanese people.

Few people, however, were out on the streets of Khartoum.

Multiple ceasefire deals have failed to stick in the conflict that began April 15, including several brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States at talks in Jeddah that were suspended last week.

The Eid truce is the 17th to be announced since the start of the conflict.

The war has brought widespread destruction to Khartoum and triggered unrest in several parts of Sudan, especially in the western region of Darfur where attacks and ethnic violence spread.

Almost 2.8 million people have been uprooted by the fighting, with more than 2.15 million internally displaced and nearly 650,000 fleeing into neighbouring countries, according to estimates from the International Organisation for Migration.


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