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Sudanese residents react to new humanitarian deal

A Port Sudan resident on May 12, 2023.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Cleared / AP


Locals in Port Sudan had mixed feelings about a new deal between the country's warring generals on Friday as it received praise from the U.N. envoy in the country.

"This deal doesn't represent us in any way because this deal was announced to please the warring sides. The Sudanese people have nothing to do with this deal because it does not concern them," said one local.

"This is a nice thing that happened between the two sides. Stopping the hostilities, ceasing fire, opening safe passages, providing services to neighbourhoods and burying dead bodies in the streets. What's also good is providing health services, and giving out humanitarian aid to people in Khartoum who weren't able to go out and take a breath, get food or drinks. So this is good news for them," added another.

The deal promises safe passage to civilians fleeing the conflict in the East African nation and protection for humanitarian operations.

The U.N. envoy, Volker Perthes, said the agreement was an important first step toward a cease-fire to the fighting which is about to enter its fourth week.

The envoy, Volker Perthes, said the agreement was an important first step toward a cease-fire to the fighting which is about to enter its fourth week.

The Sudanese military and the country’s paramilitary, the Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, signed a pact late Thursday vowing to alleviate humanitarian suffering across the country, although a truce remains elusive.

Both sides also agreed to refrain from attacks likely to harm civilians.

The violence has already killed over 600 people, including civilians, according to the U.N. healthy agency.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the agreement, which outlines a series of shared pledges and promises to "facilitate humanitarian action in order to meet the needs of civilians.”

The deal signing-ceremony, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, was aired by Saudi state media in the early hours of Friday morning.

Neither the military nor the RSF immediately issued statements acknowledging Thursday's pact.

It does not provide any detail on how the agreed-on humanitarian promises would be upheld by troops on the ground.

Previously, both sides agreed to several short cease-fires, since the fighting broke out on April 15, but all have been violated.

Over the past weeks, the fighting has turned the capital Khartoum into an urban battlefield, and triggered deadly ethnic clashes in the western Darfur region.

The U.N. and several rights groups have accused both sides — the military, led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo — of numerous human rights violations.

The army has been accused of indiscriminately bombing civilian areas, while the RSF has been condemned for widespread looting, abusing residents, and turning civilian homes into operational bases.

Both continue to level blame at each other for the violations.

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