Sudan’s warring generals agree to week-long ceasefire, South Sudan says


Two rival generals fighting in Sudan agreed to a seven-day ceasefire starting Thursday and will name representatives for peace talks that will seek to end the conflict with other neighboring countries, according to South Sudan’s foreign ministry. negotiating for. In just a few weeks, more than 100,000 refugees have been sent across their borders.

There was no immediate public confirmation, however, that an agreement had been reached between the two sides in the conflict between the Sudanese military, which was led by General Abdel Fatah al-Burhanand paramilitary rapid support forceled by Lieutenant General Mohammad Hamdan, South Sudan’s foreign ministry said in a statement, and no date has yet been set for the start of the talks.

The United Nations is also pressing for peace talks, and a spokesman, Farhan Haq, was cautious about South Sudan’s statement on Tuesday. Mr Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN secretary-general, told a briefing: “We would certainly welcome any lasting meaningful ceasefire. First of all, of course, we have to see whether it is accepted by all parties and whether it is implemented by the ground forces.

have a fight continued despite the previous ceasefire and threatens to undermine regional stability. More than 300,000 people are internally displaced, mostly in Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic, according to figures released Tuesday by UN agencies.

The UN refugee agency also warned that by the end of this year more than 800,000 people could try to escape Sudan to seven countries bordering the northeast African country – many of them already grappling with a multitude of economic, political and refugee crises of their own,

More than 500 people have been killed and more than 4,000 injured in the latest conflict in Sudan, according to the World Health Organisation.

Neighboring South Sudan was one of the first countries to offer to mediate between the two warring sides, with President Salva Kiir offering to host along with his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. South Sudan is part of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a regional bloc of eight countries that includes Sudan. and Sudanese political factions have been in the past held in South Sudan for talks on power-sharing and ending the long-running conflict in Darfur and other regions.

On Tuesday, the regional bloc said in a statement that it was “particularly pleased” to see that both Gen. al-Burhan and Gen. Hamdan “have been persuaded that dialogue is the best and most effective way to address grievances.” The only option is not war.”

The outbreak of violence in Sudan dashed whatever hopes residents had of achieving a transition to civilian democratic rule, which a military coup In 2021.

On Tuesday morning, residents in parts of the capital Khartoum reported intense clashes and heavy gunfire throughout the night before. Many residents are without electricity and are concerned about food and water shortages. Sensing a worsening situation, the United Nations said it was preparing a mass exodus from Sudan, a country of more than 45 million people that was already facing severe humanitarian crises before the latest fighting.

“We hope that will not happen,” said Filippo Grandi, the high commissioner of the UN refugee agency. said in a statement“But if the violence doesn’t stop, we will see more people forced to flee Sudan in search of safety.”

There were also over 334,000 people internally displaced In 14 of Sudan’s 18 states, the International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday.

Following consultations with the governments of seven countries surrounding Sudan – the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan, the United Nations predicts that more than 800,000 could flee for the rest of this year.

More than 30,000 people have so far arrived in Chad, which was already hosting 400,000 refugees from Sudan. many of whom fled fighting in the western region of Darfur, Raouf Mazou, assistant high commissioner for operations at the UN refugee agency, said more than 20,000 people have also arrived in South Sudan. Egypt had also captured about 14,000 people since the fighting began on April 15, Mr Mazou said.

The fighting has been most intense in major cities such as Khartoum and Omdurman, but has also spread to Darfur. Many in Sudan worry conflict will intensify in major cities As foreign governments finalize evacuation plans For its citizens and diplomatic staff.

Before the latest violence broke out, Sudan was hosting 1.3 million refugees from several neighboring countries as well as Syria. Many were moving to major towns and cities in search of work and help from aid agencies. But the protracted battle means aid agencies will be forced to halt or limit those operations.

Many aid agencies have already suspended operations in the country or left their local staff members to run thinly-veiled organisations. On Monday, the World Food Program said it would restart its services In Sudan, it ceased operations weeks later after three members of staff were killed.

The UN predicts that most refugees fleeing violence in Sudan will be Sudanese citizens, but more than 200,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected to return home under even more difficult circumstances, the agency said.

Humanitarian organizations have begun to prepare contingency plans to receive refugees in neighboring countries. But aid officials say the locations face significant challenges, including unstable security and difficult supply chains.

As the number of refugees grows, aid agencies will also need more money, personnel and relief supplies, said Alison Huggins, deputy regional director for Africa at Mercy Corps, a nongovernmental organization.

“This conflict will have devastating consequences not only for Sudan, but also for neighboring countries,” Ms Huggins said. “Any prolonged period of insecurity will have far-reaching consequences for the region, affecting the economy and the growing refugee population.”

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