The Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces agreed Saturday to a seven-day ceasefire, Al Jazeera reported based on sources from the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry. Saudi-funded Al-Arabiya television reported that the agreement between the army and the paramilitary group will take effect in 48 hours. It includes allowing armed groups involved in the conflict to evacuate hospitals and facilitating the repair of facilities serving the public. The US State Department published joint statements signed by the Sudanese army and RSF on the short-term ceasefire and agreements. "In Jeddah, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces signed the first ceasefire since the conflict began. It is past time to silence the guns and allow unhindered humanitarian access. I implore both sides to uphold this agreement - the eyes of the world are watching," Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted. At least 850 civilians have been killed and more than 3,300 injured in fighting between the army and the RSF since April 15, according to local medics. After the first face-to-face talks in Saudi Arabia, the army and the RSF signed a declaration of commitment to protect civilians in Sudan on May 11. Despite the agreement, clashes continued between the two military rivals, particularly in the capital of Khartoum. A disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the army and the RSF about the paramilitary group's integration into the armed forces, a key condition of Sudan's transition agreement with political groups. Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a "coup." Sudan's transitional period, which started in August 2019 after the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, had been scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.
Source: Philippines News Agency