Fighting resumes after Sudan ceasefire as number of displaced tops 2.5 million

CAIRO (AP) — Clashes resumed between the Sudanese army and a powerful paramilitary force after a three-day ceasefire expired Wednesday morning, a protest group and residents reported.

Sudan entered the conflict in mid-April after months of escalating tensions that exploded into open fighting between rival generals seeking to control the African nation. The war pits the army, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, against the Rapid Support Forces, a militia-turned-paramilitary force commanded by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.

The ceasefire, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, expired at 6 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The truce has brought relative calm to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, since it came into effect, but heavy fighting was reported from Tuesday evening in parts of the city.

Residents said the clashes centered around an intelligence headquarters near Khartoum International Airport. There have been sporadic clashes elsewhere in the capital, according to three people who live in the capital.

“The fighting has intensified,” said Khalid Abdel-Rahman, who lives in downtown Khartoum. “Sounds of gunfire echoed throughout the area.”

Violent clashes have also been reported around a military installation in the nearby city of Omdurman, according to resistance committees in the area that are part of a wider group that has led pro-democracy protests in recent years. years.

The resumption of fighting indicates that US and Saudi efforts to extend the truce have failed. Both Washington and Riyadh have mediated between the warring factions to end the clashes.

The conflict has been centered largely in the capital and Darfur region of western Sudan, which has been the scene of ethnically motivated attacks on non-Arab communities by the Rapid Support Forces and allied militias , according to UN officials.

The fighting has killed thousands and forced more than 2.5 million people to flee their homes to safer areas in Sudan and neighboring countries, according to the UN migration agency.

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