Air strikes, combat as one-week Sudan truce officially starts

Around 1,000 people have been killed in five weeks of violence that have plunged the already poverty-stricken country deeper into humanitarian crisis.

More than one million have been uprooted, including in excess of 250,000 who have fled across Sudan’s borders, fuelling concerns for regional stability.

‘We are all hungry’

Hours before the truce was to start, Daglo released a voice message on social media addressing reported violations by his forces – including rampant looting, targeting civilians and attacks on churches – all of which he blamed on “coup plotters” in the army.

To his fighters, he said “it is either victory or martyrdom, and victory will be ours”.

At the Security Council, Sudan’s representative, loyal to Burhan, blamed the RSF for similar violations.

Despite the previous breached truces, civilians clung to hope that the approaching ceasefire would hold, allowing desperately needed aid to bolster dwindling supplies of food, medicine and other essentials.

“We are all hungry, the children, the elderly, everyone is suffering from this war. We have no more water,” Khartoum resident Souad al-Fateh told AFP, pleading for both sides to “find an agreement”.

More than half of the population, 25 million people, need humanitarian aid, the UN said.

“With a ceasefire, running water can be restored and I will finally be able to see a doctor because I am supposed to see one regularly for my diabetes and high blood pressure,” Khaled Saleh, in the capital’s twin city of Omdurman, told AFP.

For others, like Thuraya Mohammed in southern Khartoum, it would be a chance to escape because, “Khartoum is no longer a place fit for life. Everything has been destroyed.”

Medics have repeatedly said the health care system – already fragile before the war – is on the verge of collapse in Khartoum and elsewhere, particularly the western region of Darfur.

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