A three-day cease-fire will begin in Sudan after multiple days of violence prompted evacuations of foreign nationals, the U.S. State Department said Monday.
The Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces have agreed to halt fighting at midnight Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. The rival groups have been fighting for control over the country, and several attempts at a cease-fire have previously failed.
“To support a durable end to the fighting, the United States will coordinate with regional and international partners, and Sudanese civilian stakeholders, to assist in the creation of a committee to oversee the negotiation, conclusion and implementation of a permanent cessation of hostilities and humanitarian arrangements in Sudan,” Blinken said.
The RSF confirmed its agreement to the cease-fire in a tweet that said it stood by the Sudanese people and strives “to achieve their legitimate aspirations for freedom, justice, democracy, and the rule of law.”
”We affirm our commitment during the period of the declared armistice to the complete cease-fire, and we warn against the continued violations of the second party in non-compliance with the truce,” the group said in a statement Monday.
The country’s top commander and de facto ruler, Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and his former deputy, Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo — a former camel dealer widely known as Hemedti who leads the Rapid Security Forces — had teamed up to orchestrate the coup that overthrew the government in October 2021.
Their alliance has fallen apart over how to make the transition to a civilian-run government.
The clashes have killed more than 400 people, the World Health Organization said in a statement Friday. At least one American has been killed, the State Department said last week.
Sudan’s doctors’ trade union has recorded the civilian death toll at 273, with 1,579 more people injured as of Monday.
President Joe Biden ordered the evacuation of all American personnel from the embassy in Khartoum on Saturday.
France said Monday it had evacuated 491 people from Sudan across 36 nationalities, including at least nine Americans. Saudi Arabia also said Monday that it had evacuated 357 people from more than two dozen countries from Sudan.
The United Nations issued a statement before the cease-fire news reaffirming its commitment to staying in Sudan, although it said its “presence on the ground” has changed in response to the security situation.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Saturday that the organization had moved hundreds of staff members and their families from Khartoum and other locations in Sudan.