Sudan Conflict: 72-Hour Ceasefire Agreed Between Warring Factions

According to Al Jazeera, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) said that the US and Saudi Arabia mediated the truce which is scheduled to start at midnight local time (22:00 GMT Monday).
A 72-hour ceasefire was agreed upon between the warring factions in Sudan on Monday
A 72-hour ceasefire was agreed upon between the warring factions in Sudan on Monday

A 72-hour ceasefire was agreed on  Monday between the warring factions in Sudan after the United States and Saudi Arabia mediated the truce while countries are engaged in evacuating their citizens from the African nation.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken took to Twitter to write, “Following intense negotiations, the SAF and RSF have agreed to implement and uphold a 72-hour nationwide ceasefire starting midnight, April 24. We welcome their commitment to work with partners and stakeholders for permanent cessation of hostilities and humanitarian arrangements.”

According to Al Jazeera, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) said that the US and Saudi Arabia mediated the truce which is scheduled to start at midnight local time (22:00 GMT Monday).

Meanwhile, the RSF said in a written statement on Monday that it had agreed to the truce “in order to open humanitarian corridors, facilitate the movement of citizens and residents, enable them to fulfill their needs, reach hospitals and safe areas, and evacuate diplomatic missions.”

Earlier agreed ceasefires were violated and if the new three-day cessation of fighting holds, it could create an opportunity to get much-needed critical resources like food and medical supplies to those in need, reported CNN.

Moreover, the ceasefire will help in the successful evacuations of foreigners from Sudan. Some countries have successfully evacuated including the likes of Spain, Jordan, Italy, France, Denmark and Germany, while the United Kingdom has evacuated its embassy staff. Many of their convoys also carried citizens from other countries.

According to the Saudi Arabian foreign affairs ministry, the country has evacuated 10 of its nationals and 189 foreigners including Americans from Sudan, reported CNN.

There is concern about the safety of those who still remain in Sudan regardless of their nationality, given the ongoing violence and its impact on essential resources like food, water and medical care.

Blinken on Monday said that the ceasefire deal followed two days of intense negotiations. Over the past week, the Sudanese army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have not abided by several temporary truce deals.

In a statement, Blinken said, “During this period, the United States urges the SAF and RSF to immediately and fully uphold the ceasefire. To support a durable end to the fighting, the United States will coordinate with regional and international partners, and Sudanese civilian stakeholders.”

At least 413 people have been killed in the conflict in Sudan, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), while the UN children’s agency has said that children are paying a high price, with at least nine reportedly killed in the fighting so far and more than 50 badly injured, reported Turkish news agency Anadolu.

According to figures from the Sudanese government, 413 people have died and 3,551 have been injured so far in the conflict, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris informed in a UN press conference. The ongoing fighting is a part of clashes between the African nation’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

There have been 11 verified attacks on health facilities so far including 10 since April 15, said Margaret Harris.

She said, “According to the Ministry of Health in Sudan, the number of health facilities that have stopped working is 20. And also, according to Ministry of Health numbers, the number of health facilities at risk of stopping is 12.”

“So this means that all those people who need care, and this is not only the people who've been injured hearings, terrible fighting, but that the people who were needing treatment before and continuing treatment,” are impacted, added Harris, Anadolu reported.

Meanwhile, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder in the same press conference said, “Clearly, as ever, the fighting takes a devastating toll on children.”

“We now have reports of at least nine children killed and at least 50 injured. Those numbers will continue to rise as long as fighting continues,” he added.

According to him, large numbers of people are trapped and do not have access to electricity, reported Anadolu.

Elder said, “They're terrified of running out of food, water, and medicines,” adding, “One of our grave concerns is around hospitals that have come under fire.”

He further said that Sudan already had one of the world’s highest malnutrition rates among children. “

Elder said Sudan already had one of the world's highest malnutrition rates among children. “And we've now got a situation where critical life-saving support for around 50,000 children is at risk,” mentioned the UNICEF spokesperson.

Moreover, the fighting also puts at risk “the cold chain” in Sudan, including over USD 40 million worth of vaccines and insulin, due to breaks in the power supply and the inability to restock generators with fuel, told Elder.

Children are taking shelter in schools and care centres while fighting goes on around them and of children’s hospitals forced to evacuate as shelling moves closer, Anadolu reported citing UNICEF.

Before the escalation of violence in Sudan, the humanitarian needs of the children in the country were high, with an estimated three-quarters of children living in extreme poverty, Elder said.

Similarly, 11.5 million children and community members needed emergency water and sanitation services, seven million children were out of schools and more than 6,00,000 children suffered from severe acute malnutrition.

It may be noted that the fighting erupted between the Sudanese army and paramilitary RSF last Saturday in the capital Khartoum and its surroundings regions, Anadolu reported.

A 72-hour ceasefire was agreed upon between the warring factions in Sudan on Monday
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