On the occasion of the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice that started today, both the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) unilaterally announced a short ceasefire. The RSF leadership also decided on the release of 100 detained army soldiers. The truces however were violated this morning.
Residents of the Sudanese capital said they heard heavy gunfire as well as artillery and air strikes launched by the Sudanese army against RSF positions in the city early this morning.
Al Jazeera correspondent Hiba Morgan reported from Omdurman that the announced ceasefires have very little meaning because the Sudanese cannot really celebrate Eid El Adha. “The peacetime mood of Eid has instead been replaced by sadness from people having lost family members or being displaced due to the conflict.”
Many fear that the 17th ceasefire announced since the start of the armed conflict on April 15 is no guarantee of their safety after violations of the previous ceasefires, Al Jazeera stated today.
Head of the Sovereignty Council and SAF Commander Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan yesterday announced a unilateral ceasefire on the first day of the Eid El Adha.
“We express our gratitude and appreciation to the Sudanese people for their firm stand throughout our country in support of the armed forces, as it is one of them and they will never let them down, Allah willing,” a press statement from the Office of the SAF spokesperson read.
“We’ve passed our fourth year since the December Revolution, which the youth paid their blood to achieve their vision of a democratic transition that achieves their dreams of building a state of freedom, peace and justice. And this is what the armed forces has been striving to achieve since the start of the revolution, but the rebel Mohamed Hamdan [Hemedti] and his group have tried to highjack the revolution to achieve his personal greed and ambition of controlling the country and establishing his own kingdom built on the remains and skulls of the Sudanese people.
“We are telling him that this will not happen while we are on the surface of the earth, and the armed forces will remain the institution most keen on the transfer of power to a civilian government run by the people of Sudan, not through cheap trades as the rebels wish.”
RSF Commander Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo also decided on a unilateral ceasefire. In his address to the Sudanese on Monday evening, he pledged a truce during the Day of Arafa (Tuesday) and the first day of the Eid El Adha.
In an audio recording, Hemedti condemned the violations practiced against civilians by all sides, especially by the RSF, and considered them a violation of the RSF Law and the directives of the militia’s senior leadership.
He announced the formation of a special RSF committee to hold perpetrators of violations against civilians accountable and called on the Sudanese to cooperate with the committee by “reporting, coordinating, helping to maintain security and providing the necessary services”.
Hemedti further warned the people in Darfur of “plans of affiliates of the former regime [of dictator Omar Al Bashir] to ignite a civil war”.
The Sudan Revolutionary Front alliance of a number of rebel movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement with the Sudanese government in October 2020, welcomed the truce in a press statement yesterday.
The alliance called for a permanent ceasefire and negotiations as they “are the only way to save the country from a total collapse”.
In a separate media statement yesterday, the spokesperson for the RSF said that its leadership decided to release 100 prisoners of war from the SAF.
The Darfur Bar Association welcomed the RSF decision and called on both warring parties “to immediately release all detainees and prisoners of war”, including human rights defenders and members of resistance committees, many of whom were detained by Military Intelligence agents.
The Darfur lawyers said in a statement yesterday that more than 23,000 people are reportedly being held by the RSF “but the real number may exceed 50,000”.
They confirmed that the government militia released a number of detainees “in the past few days”.