Sudan ceasefire brings uneasy calm to Khartoum

A woman buys fresh groceries at a market stall.

Residents of Khartoum use this time to buy food and medicine

Residents say an uneasy calm has returned to Sudan’s capital Khartoum after the country’s warring generals agreed to a 24-hour truce brokered by Saudi Arabia.

Previous attempts at a ceasefire between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have failed.

People are taking advantage of the brief pause in the fighting to buy food and medicine.

At least 1.5 million Sudanese have fled their homes since the conflict began in April, according to UN estimates.

The truce is supposed to last until 07:00 local time (05:00 GMT) on Sunday.

It is unclear whether Saturday’s ceasefire is being held in Darfur, the region where some of the worst atrocities have been committed during this conflict. Humanitarian groups say it is nearly impossible to get aid to the area.

Earlier this week, the Saudi Foreign Ministry warned that if the ceasefire failed, the country would consider suspending peace efforts.

Both Saudi Arabia and the United States attempted to broker peace.

After the failure of the previous attempt at talks in May, the United States sanctioned the two rival generals – the head of the Sudanese army and de facto leader, General Fattah al-Burhan, and the head of the RSF, the General Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo.

Khartoum residents are skeptical that Saturday’s truce will hold and are desperate for an end to a conflict that has killed hundreds of civilians.

“A one-day truce is far less than what we aspire to,” Mahmud Bashir told AFP news agency.

“We look forward to the end of this accursed war.”

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