Sudan ceasefire: SAF and RSF swap accusations of violations
KHARTOUM / OMDURMAN / EL GENEINA / ZALINGEI / EL OBEID –
The warring Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) both issued statements today accusing the other of violating the short-term ceasefire agreement. The Jeddah agreement on a short-term seven-day ceasefire and humanitarian arrangements, and co-facilitated by the USA and Saudi Arabia, was signed by the SAF and RSF on Saturday, and went into effect on Monday night.
The General Command of the SAF asserts that “the rebel militia [SAF] continues to violate the announced ceasefire since its start on Monday as per the Jeddah agreement…”
The SAF accuses the RSF of attacking the West Darfur capital El Geneina, and Central Darfur capital Zalingei. The army accuses the paramilitaries of “continuing the occupation of hospitals, the latest being Ahmed Gasim Hospital in Khartoum North.”
The RSF is also accused of “continuing its attempt to place El Obeid in North Kordofan under siege”.
The army’s accusations against the RSF also list continuing its occupation of public service facilities, artillery strikes on the Signal Corps and Wadi Sayedna military airbase*.
The army says that it “has notified the sides that have mediated the agreement that the rebel militia has not responded to any of the demands of the ceasefire”.
According to the office of the spokesperson of the SAF, the RSF occupied the currency printing press and currency mint on Tuesday.
The army claims that “out of its national and constitutional responsibility,” it “intervened to repel those continuing violations and expelled the enemy from the currency printing press and currency mint. The armed forces also fought enemy attacks in El Geneina and Zalingei on Wednesday and inflicted heavy losses in troops, weapons, and equipment.”
In response to posts on social media, the SAF confirmed that a military aircraft crashed on Wednesdays afternoon “as a result of technical failure”. The army says that the pilots were able to eject safely before the crash. Video footage appeared on social media showing the pilots descending by parachute near to Omdurman.
In conclusion, the SAF “reaffirms its commitment to its pledge in preserving the humanitarian truce without giving up its right to defend itself and the nation”.
A statement today by the official spokesperson of the RSF asserts: “Despite our resolute commitment to the ceasefire agreement, the SAF launched a series of unwarranted attacks today, violating international laws and norms.”
The RSF claims that “in self-defence, our forces decisively repelled these assaults, seizing and destroying several tanks”.
In Omdurman, after a targeted attack, our forces successfully shot down a SAF MiG jet fighter.
The statement claims that all hospitals under RSF control “are free from military activities”. We are also prepared to ensure smooth aid delivery and support medical teams serving civilians.”
The RSF says it “stands against the SAF and its allies from the regime of former dictator Omar al-Bashir… Committed to the humanitarian truce, the RSF calls on these aggressors to respect the ceasefire.”
The RSF statement concludes: “We will continue to protect our people, and remain committed to peace, democracy, and human rights, striving for a prosperous Sudan.”
As reported by Radio Dabanga today, large parts of Khartoum witnessed a cautious calm on Tuesday, however shooting reportedly continued in parts of Omdurman, Khartoum, and in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan.
In an unambiguous video message, ostensibly directed at the Sudanese people, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken cautioned the warring parties to abide by the ceasefire, which includes monitoring by a remote US-Saudi-international monitoring mechanism. “If the ceasefire is violated, we’ll know. And we will hold violators accountable through our sanctions and other tools at our disposal,” Blinken warned.
* Following damage to Khartoum International Airport at the start of the fighting six weeks ago, several countries used Wadi Sayedna military airbase, north of Khartoum, to evacuate foreign nationals from Sudan.