Sudan’s rival commanders agree to 24-hour ceasefire after US pressure


Following pressure from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over a deadly conflict that has killed at least 185 people across the country and saw shots fired at a US diplomatic convoy, Sudan’s warring generals agreed to a 24-hour truce from Tuesday evening.

The fighting broke out four days ago, triggering what the UN describes as a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Gunfire, airstrikes, and street fighting have made it nearly impossible to travel in the capital, Khartoum, trapping people in their houses.

The main international airport isn’t spared from the attacks, consequently halting commercial flights. A number of hospitals, aid workers, and diplomats have also been attacked, including an EU ambassador, Aidan O’Hara, who was assaulted at his residence.

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While a UN plane was hit in crossfire, three workers for World Food Programme were killed Saturday. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have raised concerns over the possible breakdown of Sudan’s health system.

The ceasefire will begin at 1600 GMT and will not extend beyond the agreed duration, a member of the country’s ruling military council informed on al Arabiya TV. Another shorter ceasefire was agreed earlier for Sunday, but it was not completely observed.

Blinken, speaking in Japan, said he held calls with the rival commanders – General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy leader and head of a notorious paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

A power struggle between the two has derailed an internationally-supported plan to shift to civilian rule after decades of autocracy and military control. The deputy leader said the RSF approved the truce to ensure the evacuation of the injured and the safe passage of civilians.

Calling the attack on the US convoy “reckless”, Blinken said the attack was made despite the vehicles being marked with diplomatic licence plates and bearing US flags. All US personnel were unhurt in the incident, he added.



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