Battles Rage Hours After Sudan Rivals Agree To Ceasefire

Smoke billows in the distance in Khartoum amid ongoing fighting between the forces of two rival generals, on May 18, 2023. - Around 1,000 people have been killed, mainly in and around Khartoum as well as in the long-troubled western region of Darfur. More than one million others have been uprooted by the battles between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). (Photo by - / AFP)

Residents of Sudan’s capital again awoke to heavy clashes Sunday morning just hours after rival generals agreed to an upcoming one-week ceasefire amid ongoing talks in Saudi Arabia.

The ceasefire — the latest following many successive truces that have been systematically violated — is set to go into effect at 9:45 pm (1945 GMT) on Monday, the US and Saudi Arabia said in a joint statement.

The ceasefire “shall remain in effect for seven days and may be extended with the agreement of both parties”, the statement added after talks in Jeddah.

Multiple truces have been violated since fighting broke out five weeks ago, which the Saudi foreign ministry acknowledged in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency early Sunday.

“Unlike previous ceasefires, the Agreement reached in Jeddah was signed by the parties and will be supported by a US-Saudi and international-supported ceasefire monitoring mechanism,” it said.

But Khartoum residents — who for weeks have been sheltering from brutal urban warfare amid desperately low supplies of food and vital resources — were sceptical that this time would be any different.

“They have announced truces that they have not held to before,” said Hussein Mohammed, who remains in Khartoum North, sheltering in place with his sick mother even as their neighbourhood became deserted.