Washington Examiner

Sudan civil war ceasefire starts, but civilians doubt it.

Sudanese Ceasefire Brings Hope, But Uncertainty Remains

As a weeklong ceasefire between Sudan’s military and a rival paramilitary group began on Monday, civilians in the war-ravaged country remained uncertain about just how much safety the deal ensured them.

The ceasefire was agreed upon between Sudanese Armed Forces Gen. Abdel Fattah al Burhan and Rapid Support Forces Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, widely known as Hemedti, in order to allow aid to be delivered to civilians feeling the effects of intense bombing.

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While the deal to halt fighting temporarily in the northeast African country is seen as a positive sign in the deadly conflict that has killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands, there is trepidation over just how ironclad the agreement is.

“When they see no fighter jets flying overhead, that’s when they’ll believe this ceasefire is actually taking effect,” al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan said of citizens reporting from Omdurman, Sudan’s most populous city.

As the agreed-upon time for the ceasefire took effect, witnesses in the capital of Khartoum said they saw fighter jets flying, heard heavy bombing, and noticed thick black smoke rising to the sky, Reuters reported.

Added doubts about the sincerity of the ceasefire likely also stem from seeing fighting up until the very minute the ceasefire was set to take effect, as both sides rushed to gain as much ground as they could before they were told to stop fighting. As the worldwide news outlet also noted, fighting endured through previous ceasefires. However, this is the first truce to be agreed upon after negotiations.

A Humanitarian Crisis

The civil war broke out in mid-April. Since then, a humanitarian crisis has broken out, with hundreds of civilians dead and hundreds of thousands forced to flee their homes. The United Nations predicted in early May that 860,000 people would flee the country for neighboring ones, such as Saudi Arabia.

Citizens of other countries who were residing in Sudan, including those of the United States, found themselves in extremely precarious situations as the fighting raged on. And compared with allies such as the United Kingdom and Germany, the U.S. would not airlift its “dual nationals” out of the country to safety, citing risks in flying out of Khartoum.

Hope for Peace

Almost two weeks ago, the two warring sides in Sudan agreed to sign a declaration affirming their commitment to protect civilians, according to senior Biden administration officials. But as the fighting and demolition have continued, that reality has become less and less clear.

There are roughly 16,000 Americans in Sudan, many of whom are dual citizens, though the Biden administration has warned that this number is inexact because the State Department does not track Americans living abroad.

  • Despite the uncertainty, the ceasefire brings hope for peace in Sudan.
  • It is the first truce to be agreed upon after negotiations.
  • The United Nations predicts that 860,000 people will flee the country for neighboring ones, such as Saudi Arabia.

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