Sudan Armed Forces deny ‘imminent ceasefire’ as shelling ravages Khartoum hospital

The spokesperson for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has denied reports of an imminent ceasefire between the army and the Rapid Support Forces in Jeddah, where talks resumed between the two warring parties in late June, under auspices of the USA and Saudi Arabia.

Spokesperson Nabil Abdallah said in a press statement on the SAF Facebook page on Wednesday that talk of a truce is not true. He stressed that negotiations are now stalled and that the army negotiating delegation is still in Sudan.

Over the past two days, there have been reports of an imminent agreement between the army and the RSF on a two-month armistice.

Babiker Feisal, head of the Federal Assembly, which is a member of the Forces for Freedom and Change-Central Council alliance, said on Tuesday that the two sides agreed to evacuate homes and neighbourhoods, and that the conflict would be limited to the military postst and bases, and whether they were considered military gains or attacks.

Last week, the army said its delegation returned to Sudan for consultations after “fundamental disagreements” over a cessation of hostilities over the evacuation of homes and neighbourhoods.

The RSF continues to deny its forces are occupying homes, though several videos posted on social media, including by RSF soldiers themselves, confirm the fact.

On June 1, the Saudi-American mediators announced the suspension of negotiations because of repeated “serious ceasefire violations”, including “occupation of civilian homes, private businesses, public buildings, and hospitals, as well as air and artillery strikes, attacks, and prohibited movements”.

The US State Department and El Riyadh have announced their readiness to resume the Jeddah talks if both sides show they are seriousness. The SAF delegation expressed readiness to resume talks “as soon as the obstacles are overcome”.

:The talks, facilitated by the USA and Saudi Arabia, resumed in late June. Initial understandings have been reached, on general principles for the negotiations and a monitoring and verification mechanism of a new truce, which involves the establishment of a joint ceasefire centre to be run by Saudi Arabia. Multiple truces have failed in the past due to non-adherence to their terms by both parties.

Ongoing hostilities

The continued fighting between the army and the RSF in large parts of the capital intensified yesterday.

Sources told Radio Dabanga that the warring sides exchanged heavy artillery fire in several areas in the east and south of Khartoum on Wednesday.

Aerial bombardments accompanied by ground attack missiles continued in Burri and El Riyadh, east of the airport, continued, they said.

People living in southern Omdurman reported intensive artillery shelling towards targets in El Salha and El Muraba’at.

A resident of El Iskan in the north of the city told Radio Dabanga that shelling continued throughout the day, while a journalist from Karari reported that gunfire could be heard throughout Wednesday.

On Tuesday, shelling caused a partial collapse of the upper floors at the Doctors Hospital west of the airport in Khartoum. The RSF accused the Sudanese Air Force of bombing the hospital, noting that 18 hospitals have been damaged by aerial bombardments so far.

People living in Karari locality in Omdurman complain about an increase in robberies by army soldiers.

A journalist living in the area told Radio Dabanga that people are robbed of their mobile phones, money, and other belongings on a daily basis. “Most of us now leave our telephones at home,” he said.

“The robberies take place in various neighbourhoods of the area, especially when the rank-and-file soldiers are not accompanied by officers.”

He appealed to the commander of the Karari military base “to intervene, stop the ongoing thefts and hold those involved accountable”.