Sudan rivals attempt another truce as civilians flee unrest - GulfToday

Sudan rivals attempt another truce as civilians flee unrest


This combination of pictures shows Sudan’s army chief, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (left) and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. AFP

Sudan's rival generals on Wednesday made a new attempt at a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire after a failed truce the night before. But sporadic fighting continued, and aid groups said they needed guarantees and a wider window to help civilians trapped by five days of intense urban combat.

Terrified Sudanese fled Khartoum earlier in the day, hauling whatever belongings they could carry and trying to get out of the capital, where forces loyal to the country's top two generals have been battling each other with tanks, artillery and airstrikes since Saturday.


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The fighting became less intense in the first hours after the cease-fire took effect at 6pm, with sporadic clashes continuing in the city center, said Atiya Abdalla Atiya, secretary of the Doctors’ Syndicate, who is still in the capital. But he said neither side has provided guarantees to his group to facilitate movement of health care workers and ambulances.

Until now, army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and RSF commander Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo — former allies against Sudan's pro-democracy movement — have seemed determined to crush each other in their struggle for power.

Explosions and gunfire shook Khartoum and the adjacent city of Omdurman.

Desperate residents of the capital have been running out of food and other supplies as they sheltered in their homes from the gun battles on the streets outside. Hospitals have been damaged and forced to close or have been overwhelmed by wounded, with staff exhausted and medical supplies depleted. Increasingly, armed fighters have turned to looting shops and robbing anyone who dares step outside.

Nearly 300 people have been killed in the past five days, the UN health agency said, but the toll is likely higher because many bodies lie uncollected in the streets.

In the tense hours after Wednesday's cease-fire, Abdalla Al Tayeb joined other residents in collecting bodies near the main military headquarters, the scene of intense fighting. "All of them nearly rotted, causing a foul smell that reached our homes,” he said. "The scene was heinous.”

After the failure of Tuesday evening's truce attempt, hundreds gave up on trying to hold out for calm and fled their homes throughout the day, even as explosions and gunfire shook Khartoum and the adjacent city of Omdurman. Residents of multiple neighborhoods told the media they could see men, women and children leaving with luggage, some on foot, others crowding into vehicles.

Associated Press



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