- Fighting still blazes in capital Khartoum
- Army says ceasefire extended for 72 hours
- International powers call for peace talks
- 52 dead as conflict roils Darfur region
Khartoum (Reuters) – Sudan’s military announced on Thursday a 72-hour extension to the ceasefire, but violence continued in the capital Khartoum and in the west. Darfur region And there was no confirmation of a ceasefire extension by the militias it was fighting.
Hundreds died and tens of thousands fled for their lives in a two-week conflict between the army and rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Together they overthrew the civilian government in a coup in October 2021, but are now trapped. power struggle Risks destabilizing, derailing transition to internationally supported democracy vulnerable areas.
On Wednesday, the Army said it had agreed to a new three-day ceasefire until Sunday proposed by a group in the African region, following a ceasefire brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia that expires Thursday night. On Thursday, the military reiterated the extension of the truce and said it would unilaterally respect it.
There was no direct communication from RSF.
The military claims to control most of Sudan, defeating a large RSF deployment in Khartoum, where some residential areas have become war zones.
Air strikes and anti-aircraft fire were heard in the capital and the nearby cities of Omdurman and Bari on Thursday, despite a partial lull in fighting since the first 72-hour ceasefire began, eyewitnesses and Reuters said. journalist said.
The White House said Thursday it was concerned about ceasefire violations, adding that the situation could escalate at any moment, and urged U.S. citizens to leave within 24 to 48 hours.
the war spread all over the world The vast Darfur regionis a place where conflict has escalated since civil war broke out 20 years ago.
The Darfur Bar Association, a human rights group, said at least 52 people were killed in attacks by armed “militia” on residential areas, a major hospital, a major market, government buildings and several shelters in the city of El Geneina. . for internally displaced persons.
Nomadic Arab militias invaded El Geneina recently because fighting between the RSF and the army created a security vacuum, said one resident, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. They encountered armed members of the Masalit tribe, and clashes spread across the city, sparking a new wave of displacement.
Sudan’s westernmost city, El Geneina, has seen repeated tribal conflicts in recent years, and many people have been forced from their homes.
“Before, it was done in one area and the authorities were involved,” said a resident. “But there was no intervention because of what was going on.”
‘I hear gunshots everywhere’
At least 512 people have been killed and nearly 4,200 wounded in the fighting since 15 April.
Conflict has limited food distribution in this sprawling country, Africa’s third-largest, with a third of its population of 46 million already dependent on humanitarian assistance.
Abdou Dien, a senior UN aid official in Sudan, said there was “little thing that can be done” with regard to humanitarian aid.
“We are very concerned about the food supply,” Dieng told reporters in New York by phone from Port Sudan, where most of the UN’s senior staff have relocated. “Our goal is to get back to Khartoum as soon as the situation allows.”
The Sudan Doctors Union said 60 out of 86 hospitals in the conflict zone had ceased operations.
Nevertheless, many foreigners remain in Sudan. Thousands evacuated. Sudanese civilians, struggling to find food, water and fuel, were pouring out of Khartoum.
About 16,000 people, including 14,000 Sudanese citizens, have entered Egypt from Sudan, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. About 20,000 refugees are already on their way to Chad, according to the United Nations.
At the African International University in Khartoum, where thousands of students were waiting to depart, there was a shortage of food, no water for toilets and showers and no electricity, said Umar Yusuf Yar, a Nigerian law student. (24) said.
“We’re sitting here and you can hear gunshots almost everywhere. It’s not safe here,” Yal said via Zoom.
Friction between the Sudanese army and the RSF continued for months. His 2021 coup of the RSF comes two years after the 2021 popular uprising overthrew the long-ruling Islamic dictatorship. Omar al-Bashir.
Additional reporting by Nafisa Eltahir, Cairo and Tala Ramadan, Dubai. Written by Tom Perry.Edited by Simon Cameron Moore
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