West News Wire: Following announcements from rival groups that they would likewise observe a cease-fire, Arabic-language media is reporting that the Sudanese army has agreed to a 24-hour cease-fire that will begin on Tuesday evening.
Top military official Shams El Din Kabbashi was quoted as declaring that the military would abide by the cease-fire in reporting on the satellite networks Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera.
The battle since Saturday has caused pandemonium throughout Sudan, including Khartoum, the capital city. Millions of Sudanese have been hiding in their houses in the capital and other major cities as the two factions fight for control, with each general so far adamant that he will crush the other.
Earlier, CNN Arabic also said in a report, citing the head of the country’s military, Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, that the military would be party to the day-long truce.
A U.S. Embassy convoy came under fire in Sudan, Washington’s top diplomat said Tuesday as he stepped up efforts for a cease-fire between the country’s two top generals. Still, forces of the two rivals pounded each other for a fourth day with heavy weapons in the capital of Khartoum.
The attack on the convoy in Khartoum, along with an assault on the EU envoy’s residence and the shelling of the Norwegian ambassador’s home, signaled a further descent into chaos in the fighting. Millions of Sudanese in the capital and in other major cities have been hiding in their homes, caught in the crossfire as the two forces battle for control, with each general so far insisting he will crush the other.
The convoy of clearly marked U.S. Embassy vehicles was attacked Monday, and preliminary reports link the assailants to the Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitary group battling Sudan’s military, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters. Everyone in the convoy was safe, he said.
More than 185 people have been killed and more than 1,800 wounded since fighting began Saturday, according to U.N. figures, which did not include a breakdown of civilians and combatants. The Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate said Tuesday that at least 144 civilians were killed and more than 1,400 were wounded.
The overall death toll could be much higher because clashes in Khartoum have prevented the removal of bodies in some areas.
Fighting resumed early Tuesday around each side’s main bases and at strategic government buildings all of which are in residential areas. Video from the Arab TV network Al-Arabiya showed a large explosion near the main military headquarters in central Khartoum that raised a giant cloud of smoke and dust.
Satellite images from Maxar Technologies taken Monday showed damage across Khartoum, including to security service buildings. Tanks stood guard at a bridge over the White Nile River and other locations in the Sudanese capital.