Some residents of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, say they have not heard any gunshots since a 72-hour cease-fire began Sunday morning. Residents say even though the cease-fire appears to be holding, they still worry about a shortage of basic commodities in local markets.
A cautious calm came over Khartoum Monday, a day after the 72-hour cease-fire agreement came into effect.
The quiet gave hope to many civilians in the city after the recent wave of violence.
Some residents of the capital Khartoum, and El Obeid area of North Kordofan state, say the truce seems to be holding.
Speaking to VOA Monday from the Omdurman neighborhood in Khartoum, Tariq Abdallah says he has not heard any gunshots or heavy shelling for hours.
Abdallah says even though the two warring parties seem to be observing the cease-fire this time around, harassment and intimidation of civilians along the checkpoints and within residential areas continue to take place.
“The war machines have stopped mostly in Khartoum, the two sides are observing a cease-fire, they have stopped fighting each other," said Abdallah. "But violations against civilians never stopped.”
Abdallah notes that as civilians remain cautiously optimistic about the cease-fire, it remains difficult for many families to access basic services.
He says people are still finding challenges in getting water, electricity and other basic grocery items for daily consumption.
“Most of the things that the people are in dire need of; especially children's food and medicines for those who are suffering from this kind of disease," Abdallah said. "These things either are not available or you need to search in many places in order to get this stuff.”
Amira Saleh, who resides in the Soba neighborhood south of Khartoum, says she could not hear any gunshots this morning in her area.
Saleh also told VOA that her family is running out of food and is not able to access nearby markets due to many roadblocks set up by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, which is locked in a power struggle with the military.
“We are finding difficulties in accessing the central market," she said. "This is where some shops have some remaining food commodities. This is the main challenge that is facing us nowadays. But we don’t have much to do; only we surrender our lives to God.”
While in El Obeid town of North Kordofan state, residents there reported that there has been some calm in and around the area since Sunday morning.
Speaking to VOA, El Obeid resident Cliff Akile said the town is cautiously hopeful as both the military and the RSF are maintaining their positions.
Akile describes the situation as normal.
“The situation today is normal; there are no gunshots or fighting in and around the town," said Akile. "This may be due to the cease-fire that began on Sunday. In the past weeks, we used to hear a lot of fighting in and around El Obeid here. We have been living in fear that any time our area can be attacked.”
Clashes between the army and the RSF, which began on April 15th, displaced about 2.2 million individuals, including one million children.
In a report released on Thursday, UNICEF says the ongoing fighting in Sudan has left more than 13 million children in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
The report said more than 330 children were killed and 1,900 others injured during the first week of June.