Thursday September 28, 2023

One-day ceasefire brings rare respite for Khartoum civilians

June 11, 2023

KHARTOUM: Khartoum residents reported a welcome lull in fighting in Sudan´s capital on Saturday after a 24-hour ceasefire between two warring generals took effect, but few believed it would hold.

“Since the war started, this is the first time hours go by and we don´t hear the sound of guns,” said Hamed Ibrahim, adding that “today was completely different” in his east Khartoum neighbourhood.

Fighting has raged in the country since mid-April, when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), turned on each other.

Multiple truces have been agreed and broken since the conflict flared, and Washington slapped sanctions on both rival generals after the last attempt collapsed at the end of May. The air strikes and artillery bombardments that have rocked greater Khartoum almost daily subsided at least temporarily, allowing trapped civilians to venture outdoors to buy desperately needed supplies.

“Today we have witnessed a total calm,” said Othman Hamed, a resident of the capital´s sister city Omdurman, just across the Nile. In one Khartoum market, people were seen scrambling to stock up on fruit and other basic goods. “The truce is a chance for us to get some food supplies after we lived on rationed quantities in recent days,” said one of the shoppers, Mohamad Radwan.

Hajar Youssef said she had gone out in search of an open pharmacy to buy insulin for her mother, who has diabetes.

“Unfortunately, I did not find one.” Many people expressed disappointment that the promised ceasefire was so limited in scope.

“A one-day truce is much less than we aspire for,” said Khartoum North resident Mahmud Bashir. “We look forward to an end to this damned war.”