Artillery fire could be heard in parts of Khartoum and warplanes flew overhead yesterday, residents said, though an internationally-monitored ceasefire appeared to have brought some respite from heavy fighting in the Sudanese capital.
Night-time air strikes were reported in at least one area after the ceasefire started late on Monday, but residents otherwise reported relative calm.
The truce was agreed at talks in Jeddah on Saturday after five weeks of fierce battles between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). It is being tracked by Saudi Arabia and the US and is meant to allow for the delivery of humanitarian relief.
Sudanese activists wrote to the United Nations envoy to Sudan welcoming the ceasefire agreement but complaining of severe human rights abuses against civilians that they said took place as the fighting raged and should be investigated.
Neighbourhood committees that have been at the forefront of local aid efforts in the capital were preparing to receive supplies, though much of the aid that has arrived in Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast is yet to be distributed as agencies wait for security clearance, activists and aid workers said.
The ceasefire deal has raised hopes of a pause in a war that has driven nearly 1.1 million people from their homes, including more than 250,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries.
“Our only hope is that the truce succeeds, so that we can return to our normal life, feel safe, and go back to work again,” said Khartoum resident Atef Salah El-Din, 42.
Although fighting has continued through previous ceasefires, this was the first to be formally agreed following negotiations.
The ceasefire deal includes for the first time a monitoring mechanism involving the army and RSF as well as representatives from Saudi Arabia and the US. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the monitoring mechanism would be ‘remote’.