Hurry to elude Sudan intensifies as the tenuous cease-fire is violently broken

April 25, 2023



(cnn)

Western and Asian nations were among those mounting rapid evacuation efforts from Sudan on Tuesday, following a 72-hour ceasefire between warring forces. The United Kingdom, France, South Korea and a host of other countries confirmed that they were pulling out nationals after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a three-day ceasefire. The White House is considering a plan to send US troops to Port Sudan to help with the evacuation of American citizens. Saudi Arabia was also involved in mediating the truce, and CNN obtained images released by the US military showing personnel arriving in Djibouti. France and Pakistan both said they had evacuated hundreds of nationals, while China said most of its citizens had also been pulled out of the country.

Many Sudanese people have attempted to make their own perilous escapes from the capital, taking advantage of brief breaks in combat to rush to safety. Sudan has been racked with violence since a power struggle between two rival generals spilled into the streets. Gunfire and fighter jets were heard in Khartoum on Tuesday morning despite a ceasefire, but fighting seemed to be relatively calmer than Monday. The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) blamed the army for violating the truce by “continuing to attack Khartoum by planes.” Residents in Khartoum said the paramilitary group have spread across streets of the capital and set up checkpoints, while the army continues defending its headquarters. Both sides have issued statements discrediting one another, with unsubstantiated claims of their control over key posts of the capital and accusations of each side targeting civilians.

The West will watch developments on the ground on Tuesday, hoping that the current truce will stick. The US has provided incentives to dissuade the ceasefire from breaking down, saying they are responsible for the lives and livelihoods of both the Sudanese people and all the foreign nationals in Khartoum and in Sudan today.

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