Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sudan's top general delivers first video address since conflict with paramilitary began


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Sudan’s top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has said in his first address since the start of the brutal civil conflict that the army is committed to transitioning to civilian rule.

In a video message released early Friday to mark the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, the general said: “We are confident that we will overcome this test with our training, knowledge and strength, the security and unity of the state.” Will maintain, allow us.” to be handed over for a safe transition to civilian rule.”

In the Sudanese capital, sounds of heavy fighting could be heard amid the call to prayer, with mosques expected to begin morning prayers for the safety of worshipers.

The army chief’s statements came as his rivals claimed they would enforce a three-day ceasefire for the holiday marking the end of Ramadan, based on “international and regional understanding”.

More than 330 people have so far been killed in the violent power struggle, according to the WHO, which broke out over the past weekend between two former allied leaders of the Sudanese army.

Khartoum was rocked by the bombing and shelling and eyewitnesses heard gunshots as the ceasefire began, and morning Eid prayers were about to begin.

Reuters cited residents as saying that troops had been deployed on foot in some areas, apparently indicating that the army was preparing for more clashes.

“The devastation and the sound of gunfire has left no trace of joy for everyone in our beloved country,” General Burhan said in a pre-recorded speech, according to the Associated Press.

The video address was the first time General Burhan has been seen since fighting broke out from Khartoum and other areas of the country.

Fighting broke out last Saturday between army units loyal to Gen. Burhan and the RSF, a paramilitary force led by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, the deputy head of the council.

While Gen. Burhan’s forces called for the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to be disbanded, which he dubbed “rebel militias”, Gen. Daglo told the satellite news network Al Arabiya that he ruled out talks and urged his counterpart to surrender. asked for.

People carry on their shoulders Othman Mohammed, a senior general loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan

(AFP via Getty Images)

Sudan’s RSF said it had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire on humanitarian grounds, effective from 6 a.m. (local time) on Friday. “The conflict coincides with Eid al-Fitr … to open humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians and to give them the opportunity to greet their families,” RSF said in a statement.

The RSF said it had to act in “self-defense” to quell what it described as an attempted coup, adding that it remained committed to a “complete ceasefire” during the ceasefire period. There was no immediate comment from the army chief, who did not mention the ceasefire in his speech.

The day before, the army ruled out talks with the RSF, saying it would only accept their surrender. Both sides continued fighting in central Khartoum and other parts of the country, threatening to derail international efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire.

A fire broke out during the conflict in Khartoum, Sudan

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

South Korea said on Friday that it has decided to send a military plane to evacuate its citizens from the country. Twenty-five South Korean nationals live in Sudan and are considered safe, Yonhap news agency reported.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who is in the US, reportedly sought the UN’s assistance in ensuring the safety of Indian nationals stranded in Sudan.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for a ceasefire to allow civilians to reach safety as thousands of residents streamed out of Khartoum.

Large numbers entered Chad to escape fighting in the western region of Darfur.