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start of a 72-hour ceasefire, France evacuates more than 500 people


In Sudan, a 72-hour ceasefire, supposed to come into force on Tuesday, was reached between the army and paramilitaries under the aegis of the United States, after ten days of fighting which left hundreds dead. and pushed tens of thousands of residents to the start. Meanwhile the evacuations continue, France announced on Tuesday that it had evacuated 538 people, including 209 French people from the country.

A ceasefire of 72 hours, supposed to come into force on Tuesday April 25, was concluded in Sudan between the belligerents under the aegis of the United States, after ten days of fighting which left hundreds dead and pushed tens of thousands of inhabitants to the departure . Evacuations continue, France announced on Tuesday that it had evacuated 538 people, including 209 French, from the country.

In Khartoum, explosions and shootings were rare on Tuesday. However, as with every truce announcement, General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo’s paramilitaries accused the army of rival General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane of continuing to fly over Khartoum.

Shortly before midnight in Khartoum, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that he had obtained commitments from both sides to respect “a ceasefire” of 72 hours.

The intensity of the fighting in several neighborhoods had actually dropped since Saturday and the start of the evacuations of foreign nationals.

Evacuations still in progress

France announced on Tuesday that it had evacuated 538 people from Sudan, including 209 French people, by organizing air rotations between Khartoum and Djibouti since Sunday. Emmanuel Macron, who spoke at the start of a defense council at the Élysée, also gave “reassuring news” of the French soldier injured during this evacuation operation, whose “life is not more in danger”.

The French president praised “the exceptional work, in extremely difficult conditions, of the internal security forces mobilized”, to carry out these evacuations which also concerned “nationals of partner countries, in particular Africans, who had requested our assistance”.

In total, more than a thousand EU nationals were evacuated.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom also announced that it was starting the evacuation of its nationals, three days after that of its diplomats. Tokyo, for its part, announced on Tuesday that it had evacuated “all the Japanese who were in Khartoum” and,Monday evening, nearly 200 nationals from around twenty countries landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Around 700 international staff from the UN, NGOs and embassies “have been evacuated to Port Sudan”, the UN said. Dozens of other aid workers were evacuated to Chad.

“Humanitarian truce”

Those who cannot flee try to survive, deprived of water and electricity, subject to food shortages and internet and telephone blackouts. Since the beginning of hostilities on April 15, explosions, air raids and shootings have not ceased in Khartoum, plunged into chaos. More than 420 people have been killed and thousands injured, according to the UN.

But “after intense negotiations”, the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) “have accepted a nationwide ceasefire”, Antony Blinken said shortly before the entry into force of the truce at midnight (22 h GMT Monday).

The army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, de facto ruler of Sudan since the putsch of 2021, and the paramilitaries of his deputy turned rival, General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, have confirmed a “truce dedicated to the opening of humanitarian corridors “.

>> To read also: Behind the violence in Sudan, an “existential” conflict between two military leaders

Khaled Omar Youssef, spokesman for the Forces of Freedom and Change (FLC), the historic civilian bloc ousted from power during the putsch, told AFP that he welcomed “American mediation” which established, with civilians, “contacts with the army and the FSR” with a view to “this humanitarian truce”.

“It will give rise to a dialogue on the modalities of a definitive ceasefire”, he specified, while Antony Blinken said he was working with allies on a “commission” responsible for negotiating the permanent cessation hostilities in Sudan. The army spoke of “Saudi-American” mediation.

The Security Council is due to meet on Tuesday evening over this open war between the two generals in this East African country which, according to Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, risks “invading all the region and beyond.

With AFP

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