Warring Sudanese groups have agreed temporary ceasefire – US

Warring factions in Sudan have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire while Western, Arab and Asian nations raced to extract their citizens from the country.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that the ceasefire deal followed two days of intense negotiations. Sudan’s army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have not abided by several temporary truce deals over the past week.

“During this period, the United States urges the SAF and RSF to immediately and fully uphold the ceasefire. To support a durable end to the fighting, the United States will coordinate with regional and international partners, and Sudanese civilian stakeholders,” Blinken said in a statement.

Fighting erupted between the army and the RSF paramilitary group on April 15 and has killed at least 427 people, knocked out hospitals and other services, and turned residential areas into war zones. Millions of people remain trapped in their homes in the capital Khartoum and are running short on food and water.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the violence in a country that flanks the Red Sea, Horn of Africa and Sahel regions “risks a catastrophic conflagration … that could engulf the whole region and beyond”.

He urged the 15 members of the UN Security Council to use their clout to return Sudan to the path of democratic transition after a 2021 military coup that followed the fall of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising.

“We must all do everything within our power to pull Sudan back from the edge of the abyss … We stand with them at this terrible time,” Guterres said, adding that he had authorised temporary relocation of some UN personnel and families.

The Security Council has planned a meeting on Sudan on Tuesday.