A one-week ceasefire in Sudan, aimed at facilitating the much-needed delivery of humanitarian aid, has begun on a tumultuous note. Witnesses in the capital city of Khartoum reported the presence of fighter aircraft flying overhead, while reports of ongoing hostilities in certain regions added to the precarious situation.
The ceasefire, brokered through pressure exerted by the United States and Saudi Arabia, was intended to bring an end to six weeks of relentless combat between the Sudanese army and rival paramilitary forces. However, heavy bombardments were heard in the eastern part of Khartoum, while the sound of gunfire persisted in the neighboring regions of Omdurman and Bahria.
Prior to the commencement of the agreed-upon armistice, the Sudanese army launched airstrikes against their paramilitary rivals, further heightening tensions and undermining the prospects of a successful ceasefire. This development marks the first formal agreement of a ceasefire after rounds of negotiations, with previous attempts having failed to secure a lasting truce.
At the center of the conflict is the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group headed by former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The RSF has played a pivotal role in the ongoing clashes, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded. With over one million people already displaced and millions more confined with limited access to basic resources, the urgent need for a ceasefire cannot be overstated.
To monitor the adherence to the ceasefire, a monitoring mechanism has been put in place, involving the Sudanese army, RSF, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. The involvement of these key stakeholders is intended to ensure accountability and prevent further violations of the agreement.
Despite the initial setbacks and challenges faced during the implementation of the ceasefire, there remains a glimmer of hope that the cessation of hostilities can provide a much-needed respite for the Sudanese people. The delivery of humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict hangs in the balance, and the success of the ceasefire will be crucial in determining the future trajectory of the crisis.