Artillery fire reported in Sudan’s capital despite truce

KHARTOUM: Fresh artillery fire has been reported in Khartoum after a temporary truce was reached on Sunday between the Sudanese warring factions.

The army led by chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, had agreed to the ceasefire.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have so far sponsored peace talks in Jeddah, however, every temporary truce has been broken, despite both the army and RSF claiming to be open to negotiations.

Analysts and diplomats have noted the marked absence of Egypt, a key regional player, in these talks. Egypt is likely to back Burhan given shared interests and the countries’ parallel histories of military takeover – Egypt’s democratically elected president was ousted by army chief, now president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in 2014; Burhan led the army takeover in 2021.

The military rivals erupted in warfare on April 15, after tensions arose over plans to transition to civilian rule. The fighting rippled through Khartoum, areas surrounding the capital, and the western region of Darfur, previously ridden with conflict.

Diplomatic missions were evacuated soon after, and many Sudanese officials decamped from Khartoum to the army-controlled hub of Port Sudan on the Red Sea Coast.

On Tuesday, the US State Department issued a statement that 2.5 million people have been reached with aid during ceasefires, but organisations are struggling to get past Port Sudan because of army restrictions.

The ongoing war has resulted in over 2 million citizens fleeing their homes within the 49 million strong nation, sending the country into an even deeper humanitarian crisis. 

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