New 24-hour truce agreed in Sudan

 Sudan’s paramili­tary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) agreed on Wednesday to a 24-hour ceasefire starting at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) following days-long power struggle and bloody clashes with the army.

“We confirm our full commit­ment to a complete ceasefire, and we hope the other party will abide by the ceasefire according to the announced time,” the RSF added in a statement.

It was not immediately clear whether the army would an­nounce its own commitment to the ceasefire.

The rivals announced their commitment to a 24 hour cease­fire on Tuesday, but a Reuters re­porter in Khartoum said he heard tanks firing after the ceasefire was due to begin.

Sudanese troops battled waves of attacks on Wednesday by a paramilitary force trying to seize the army’s headquarters.

Continuous bombardments and loud blasts could be heard in central Khartoum around the compound housing the army headquarters (HQ) and also at the main airport, which has been fiercely contested and put out of action since fighting erupted at the weekend.

Thick smoke billowed into the sky and the streets were largely empty in Khartoum. Gunfire rattled in the south of the city, a Reuters witness said, while the army appeared to retake a key military airport in the country’s north, images on TV network, al Arabiya, showed.

Earlier in the week, Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, said he was operating from a presidential guesthouse within the Khartoum army HQ. Reuters could not establish whether he remained there on Wednesday.

“The armed forces are re­sponding to a new attack in the vicinity of the General Command,” the army said in a statement.

Huddled in their homes, residents of the capital, one of Africa’s largest cities, struggled with power cuts and worried how long food supplies would last.

“Today we were starting to run out of some essentials,” said architect Hadeel Mohamed, concerned for the safety of her brother who had gone to look for food. —Reuters

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