Sudanese people disembark after traversing the Nile River on a ferry after crossing the border from Sudan, in Abu Simbel, southern Egypt, 20 May 2023. EFE/EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Fighting rages in Sudan hours before ceasefire comes into effect

Khartoum, May 22 (EFE).- Violent clashes broke out in Sudan on Monday a few hours before a seven-day truce was set to enter into force, as warring military factions fought in several locations in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

The armed forces, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), headed by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, over the weekend penned a ceasefire in the Saudi city of Jeddah to provide people in the strife-ravaged country with access to humanitarian aid.

Khartoum residents told Efe that heavy fighting had been underway since early in the morning in the city of Omdurman, with sounds of explosions and gunfire being heard near RSF positions.

Loud explosions also shook several houses when clashes erupted in the southern part of Khartoum as military aircraft hovered in the area, residents said.

The ceasefire, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, was reached on Saturday after representatives of the Sudanese army traveled to Jeddah to begin a dialogue with members of the RSF paramilitary group after over a month of fighting.

The dueling parties agreed in Jeddah to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid, protect civilians and restore security at public institutions during the specified period.

The army and the RSF have traded accusations of violating numerous ceasefires and targeting civilian facilities, including hospitals and residential buildings in the capital, since the start of clashes on April 15.

The fighting in Sudan has taken its toll on the healthcare system, leaving it on the brink of collapse with over 700 civilians dead and over 5,000 others injured.

Over 1.1 million people, the vast majority of them women and children, have been forced to flee their homes amid the fighting, according to the United Nations.EFE