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Sudan's Army Declares Independent Eid Truce Amid Escalating Violence

FILE - Sudan's Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan speaks following the signing of an initial deal aimed at ending a deep crisis caused by last year's military coup, in the capital Khartoum on December 5, 2022.

WASHINGTON — Sudan's army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo independently announced temporary cease-fires to coincide with the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, declarations coming as the conflict between the two warring parties continues for the 11th week.

Burhan declared a one-day unilateral truce on Tuesday night, 24 hours after Dagalo proclaimed a two-day cease-fire for Tuesday and Wednesday, symbolically aligning with the festive occasion.

In a televised address, army chief Burhan levied grave accusations against the RSF, accusing them of perpetrating crimes against humanity by deliberately targeting civilians in key regions such as Khartoum, El Obeid, and Darfur.

Burhan implored the nation's youth and all able-bodied individuals to safeguard Sudan from the RSF's "conspiracy" and the presence of "mercenaries" which he said posed an existential threat to the country.

He urged Sudanese citizens to join army units or protect their nation from the RSF insurgency even from the confines of their homes.

Dagalo, in an audio recording on Monday, acknowledged the hardships endured by the Sudanese people as a consequence of the clashes between his Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army.

He directly addressed the extensive reports of human rights violations, including instances of sexual violence and looting, allegedly committed by his troops against civilians in various parts of the nation, including Khartoum and Darfur. He pledged to take resolute measures to address such transgressions and assured that those within his ranks responsible for rights abuses would be subject to prosecution.

The RSF's Eid al-Adha cease-fire announcement came after Sudan's army confirmed on Monday that the paramilitary had taken the main base of a well-equipped police brigade in Khartoum and there were reports of fighting spreading for the first time to Blue Nile state near Ethiopia.

The conflict between Sudan's army and the RSF has endured for 11 weeks, resulting in dire consequences for the nation and its populace.

The United Nations estimates that over 2.5 million individuals have been displaced from their homes, while Sudan's health ministry believes that thousands have lost their lives since mid-April.

VOA's Nabeel Biajo complied this report. Some information came from Reuters.