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Sudan’s RSF Leader Announces 48-Hour Cease-Fire


FILE - General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo speaks during a press conference at Rapid Support Forces headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, Feb. 19, 2023.
FILE - General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo speaks during a press conference at Rapid Support Forces headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, Feb. 19, 2023.

The leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces announced a 48-hour cease-fire starting Tuesday for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo also said he would hold his forces accountable for violations against civilians since war broke out with Sudan's military. But analysts are skeptical after numerous failed cease-fires and note Dagalo's poor record on rights violations.

The commander of the Sudan paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, known as Hemedti, announced the 48-hour cease-fire for al-Adha festivities from early Tuesday morning through Wednesday.

In an audio address provided to VOA by the Al Hadath TV channel, Hemedti declared a two-day unilateral truce, honoring the Muslims Adha festivity.

He says his forces will remain in their position and will act only in self-defense.

Hemedti notes the unilateral cease-fire shows the commitment of his forces to end fighting and end the suffering of civilians.

He says it is his wish that these days will be used for a genuine forgiveness and reconciliation among the people. He cited a deep feeling for our people, who are suffering and going through harsh humanitarian situations because of the ongoing fighting, which has affected their livelihoods. He said they are determined to end this war hopefully strong and united once again.

However, the RSF commander expressed concern about the alleged human rights violations committed by his forces against civilians.

He announced the establishment of field courts headed by Major General Esam Saleh Fidhel to carry out investigations into claims of offenses allegedly committed by the RSF.

He says the violations are against RSF law and the instructions of its senior leadership. We are going to address them firmly and seriously. I am here sincerely assuring our people that we reject and condemn any violation against civilians, including those believed to have been committed by our RSF forces.

VOA contacted al-Tahir Abu Hajah, the head of media and information in the office of Sovereign Council Chairman and army chief Abdel-Fattah Burhan, for comment on the report, but Hajah didn’t answer.

Speaking to VOA on Tuesday, Mohammed Khaleel, a retired military officer and a lecturer of international relations at various Sudanese Universities, downplayed the unilateral cease-fire announced by the RSF.

Khaleel says the cease-fire is meant to please the international community, and civilians will still experience looting of their property, theft and intimidation.

Khaleel said he doesn’t think the cease-fire is meant for civilians because civilians have left their houses and their property is being looted by the RSF and sold cheaply in local markets in RSF-controlled areas within Khartoum and elsewhere.

The U.N. says about 2.5 million people have been displaced in and out of Sudan since the onset of the conflict on April 15. Nearly 2 million people are internally displaced.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the days when the cease-fire is to take place.