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Sudanese parties trade blame and fight despite ceasefire

Sudanese parties trade blame and fight despite ceasefire

  • Both sides extend ceasefire agreement for 72 hours
  • RSF says army launches attacks
  • Army says RSF convoys destroyed
  • Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates contact Burhan of the army
  • Canada ends evacuations due to “dangerous conditions”

KHARTOUM, April 30 (Reuters) – Rival Sudanese military forces accused each other of fresh ceasefire violations on Sunday as their deadly conflict dragged on for a third week despite warnings of a trend toward civil war.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands injured since a long-running power struggle between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted into conflict on April 15.

Both sides said a formal ceasefire agreement that expired at midnight would be extended for another 72 hours, in a move that RSF said was “in response to international, regional and local calls.”

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The army said it expected the so-called “rebels” to abide by the agreement, but believed they intended to continue attacks. The parties have continued to fight through a series of ceasefires secured by brokers, including the United States.

The situation in Khartoum, where the army has been fighting RSF forces entrenched in residential areas, was relatively calm on Sunday morning, a Reuters journalist said, after heavy clashes were heard on Saturday night near From the center of the city.

The army said on Sunday it had destroyed RSF convoys heading towards Khartoum from the west. The RSF said the army had used artillery and warplanes to attack their positions in various areas of Khartoum province.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reports.

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In an apparent bid to build up its forces, the army said on Saturday that the Central Reserve Police had begun deploying to the south of Khartoum and would gradually deploy to other areas of the capital.

Sudanese police said the force had been deployed to protect markets and properties that had been looted. The RSF warned him on Saturday not to get involved in the fighting.

The force is a large and heavily armed division of the Sudanese police force that has combat experience in conflicts in the western Darfur region and in the Nuba Mountains in southern Sudan.

In March 2022, the United States imposed sanctions on the reserve police force, accusing it of using excessive force against protesters protesting against the 2021 military coup.

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So far, the fighting in Khartoum has seen RSF forces fan out across the city as the army tries to heavily attack them using airstrikes with drones and fighter jets.

The conflict has sent tens of thousands of people fleeing across Sudan’s borders and prompted warnings that the country could disintegrate, destabilizing a volatile region and prompting foreign governments to rush to evacuate their citizens.

The United States sent a navy ship to take away its citizens, two US officials said, as Britain announced it had organized an additional evacuation flight from Port Sudan on the eastern Red Sea coast on Monday.

Nearly 1,000 Americans have been evacuated since the violence began, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement, adding that a government convoy had arrived in Port Sudan to bring US citizens and other eligible persons to Saudi Arabia to receive further transit assistance.

But, underscoring the extent of the instability, Canada said it was ending its evacuation flights due to “dangerous conditions.”

The prospects for the negotiations look bleak.

“There are no direct negotiations, there are preparations for talks,” UN special representative in Sudan Volker Perthes told reporters in Port Sudan, adding that regional and international countries were working with the two sides. Perthes told Reuters on Saturday that the parties were more open to negotiations than before.

Army leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has said he would never sit down with RSF chief General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, who in turn said he would speak only after the army cease hostilities.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, whose government has played a role in mediating the ceasefires, met with Burhan’s envoy Daffalla Al-Haj Ali in Riyadh and called for calm, the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry said.

In addition to diplomatic pressure, the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, called Burhan, the state news agency WAM reported.


With the United Nations reporting that only 16% of health facilities in Khartoum are operating normally, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delivered 8 tons of medical aid.

But while approval has been given for the supplies to go to Khartoum, negotiations are continuing with the parties to facilitate delivery within the city, where hospitals, convoys and ambulances have come under attack, he said.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said on Sunday he would travel to the region to “explore how we can bring immediate relief to the millions of people whose lives have been turned upside down overnight.”

He urged safe passage for civilians fleeing hostilities and for combatants to stop using personnel, transportation and medical facilities “as shields.”

At least five aid workers have been killed in the fighting.

A third of Sudan’s 46 million people needed humanitarian aid before the fighting began.

The conflict has derailed an internationally-backed political transition aimed at establishing a democratic government in Sudan, where autocratic former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir was ousted in 2019 after three decades in power.

At least 528 people have died and 4,599 have been injured, the Health Ministry said. The United Nations has reported a similar death toll, but believes the true number is much higher.

Reporting by Khaled Abdelaziz and Eltayeb Siddig in Sudan; Aidan Lewis, Nafisa Eltahir and Hatem Maher in Cairo Written by Tom Perry Edited by Frances Kerry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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