Sudan fighting continues despite theoretical truce agreed by warring generals

Air strikes and gunfire around the Sudanese capital Khartoum continue despite a fresh, week-long truce between the warring military forces.

South Sudan’s foreign ministry announced in a Tuesday statement that mediation efforts by the country’s President Salva Kiir had led the both sides to agree to a 7-day truce that will supposedly start on Thursday and continue until May 11.

It was not clear, however, how Sudan’s army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and paramilitary Rapid Support forces (RSF) leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo would proceed with the new truce deal.

Previous ceasefire pacts announced by both side have ranged from 24 to 72 hours though there have been constant truce violations in the bloody conflict that broke out in mid-April between the Sudanese army and the RSF paramilitary force.

The development came as international media outlets cited witnesses as reporting more airstrikes on Tuesday in the towns of Omdurman and Bahri, both on the opposite bank of the Nile River from Khartoum.

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV further reported that warplanes of the Sudanese army were targeting RSF positions and anti-aircraft fire could be heard from Khartoum.

The Sudanese army also declared in a statement citing India’s ambassador to the country that the diplomatic post was attacked and looted in Khartoum.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry also announced Wednesday morning that a building in Khartoum that was serving as the Saudi cultural mission there was destroyed and looted by an armed group though no casualties were reported.

Moreover, army jets carried out aerial strikes against RSF units dug in residential areas of the capital region.

Meanwhile, the commanders of the army and the RSF, who shared power as part of the purported international transition to free elections and civilian rule, have shown no sign of backing down, but neither seems able to win a rapid victory.

Also on Saturday, the sounds of airstrikes, anti-aircraft weaponry and artillery could be heard in Khartoum, and dark smoke rose over parts of the city, as fighting in across the North African nation entered a third week.

At least 512 people have been killed and close to 4,200 others wounded so far, according to the United Nations, which believes the actual toll is much higher.

More than 75,000 people were internally displaced within Sudan just in the first week of the fighting, according to the world body. Only 16 percent of hospitals were operating as normal in the capital.

The violence has sent tens of thousands of refugees across Sudan’s borders, and threatens to stir instability across a volatile swathe of Africa between the Sahel and the Red Sea.

Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner For Human Rights, has called upon both sides of the fighting in Sudan to “immediately end hostilities” and to “halt hostilities in residential areas and the targeting of civilian population and infrastructure.”

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