Sudan forces agree nationwide ceasefire after days of bloodshed

Both of Sudan’s warring parties have agreed to implement a nationwide ceasefire from midnight tonight, after days of bloody fighting. The ceasefire will last for 72 hours, according to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. America’s top diplomat urged the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to uphold the agreement and said the US and it partners would seek to bring about a permanent peace deal. 

In his statement, Blinken said: “Following intense negotiation over the past 48 hours, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have agreed to implement a nationwide ceasefire starting at midnight on April 24, to last for 72 hours.

“During this period, the United States urges the SAF and RSF to immediately and fully uphold the ceasefire.

“To support a durable end to the fighting the United States will coordinate with regional and international partners, and Sudanese civilian stakeholders, to assist in the creation of a committee to oversee the negotiation, conclusion and implementation of a permanent cessation to hostilities and humanitarian arrangements in Sudan.

“We will continue to work with the Sudanese parties and our partners towards the shared goal of a return to civilian government in Sudan.”

A number of British citizens remain trapped in the country, unable to leave due to the fierce fighting.

According to the BBC, a small British military reconnaissance team has been sent to the country to assess evacuation options.

And on Monday, Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell warned that movement in Khartoum “remains extremely dangerous and no evacuation option comes without grave risk to life”.

He said a member of the French special forces was “gravely ill” after being shot while trying to evacuate French diplomats.

But some UK citizens say they have waited too long for help.

William, a UK citizen, told the BBC that he had received virtually no help from government officials since the fighting erupted.

“We’ve had absolutely nothing but nonsense from the government,” he told the Today programme on Monday.

“Not even nonsense, we’ve had nothing.

“The last communication was that the government itself is going to do nothing, so we had to take this option.”

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The US says it has no plans to send any peacekeeping forces to the African country.

Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Adviser, said such an option was not being considered at the present time and didn’t expect it to be would be going forwards.

However, he acknowledged the US had plans in place to protect its embassy in Khartoum.

Asked by journalists for details on the contingency plans, Sullivan said the US had the kind of assets to protect its people should they come under threat.

He added the plan that is currently in place to protect the evacuation route is the right way to proceed.

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