Saudi Arabia and US Announce 24-Hour Ceasefire in Sudan

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    Sudan ceasefire

    Saudi Arabia and the United States have jointly declared a 24-hour ceasefire between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, according to a statement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry. The ceasefire is set to commence at 6:00 AM Khartoum time on Saturday. The agreement also includes provisions for the free movement of humanitarian aid throughout Sudan.

    The statement expressed the frustration of Saudi Arabia and the US with the previous truces, emphasizing their solidarity with the Sudanese people. The announcement comes amidst ongoing clashes and violence between the two warring factions in Sudan.

    In a separate development, Sudan’s foreign ministry declared Volker Perthes, the special representative of the UN Secretary-General in Sudan and head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), as “persona non grata.” The reason behind the declaration was not specified in the statement.

    Last month, Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had written a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres requesting the removal of Perthes from his post. However, Guterres expressed shock at the letter and praised Perthes’ work in Sudan.

    Volker Perthes, who assumed the role in 2021, has been vocal about his concerns regarding the conflict in Sudan. He recently criticized the leaders of the warring parties and raised alarm about the growing ethnicization of the conflict.

    The UN Security Council voted last week to extend the mandate of UNITAMS for six months, until December 3, 2023. The mission was established in 2020 to support Sudan’s transition to civilian-led democracy after the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir.

    The ongoing clashes between Sudan’s Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces have resulted in weeks of intense fighting, leaving the country in turmoil and jeopardizing the prospects of a peaceful transition to civilian rule.