US and Saudi Arabia urge warring Sudanese parties to agree to new ceasefire, amid fresh battles

CAIRO (AP) – Saudi Arabia and the United States on Sunday urged Sudan’s warring parties to agree to and “effectively implement” a new ceasefire amid renewed fighting in the Sudanese country. northeast of Africa.

Sudan descended into chaos after fighting erupted in mid-April between the army, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and paramilitary rapid support forces, commanded by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.

For weeks, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been mediating between the warring parties. On May 21, the two countries successfully brokered a temporary ceasefire agreement to help deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to the war-torn country. Their efforts were shattered, however, when the military announced on Wednesday that it would no longer take part in ceasefire talks being held in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah.

Following the military’s decision, the United States and Saudi Arabia said they were suspending talks “due to serious repeated breaches of the short-term ceasefire.” President Joe Biden’s administration has imposed sanctions on major military and RSF-led Sudanese defense companies and people who “perpetuate violence” in Sudan.

In their statement on Sunday, Washington and Riyadh said they were continuing to hire military and RSF representatives who remained in Jeddah. They urged the warring Sudanese to accept and implement a new ceasefire after the last one expired on Saturday evening. The goal is to eventually establish a permanent cessation of hostilities in the war-torn country, they said.

The statement said talks focused on “facilitating humanitarian aid” and reaching an agreement on “short-term steps the parties need to take” before resuming talks.

The fighting has turned the capital, Khartoum, and other urban areas into battlegrounds, leading to widespread looting and destruction of residential areas across the country. The conflict has also displaced more than 1.65 million people who have fled to safer areas in Sudan and neighboring countries.

Residents reported heavy fighting over the past two days in Khartoum and nearby towns of Omdurman and Bahri.

Loud sounds of shelling and gunfire were heard early on Sunday in parts of Omdurman as the military plane flew over the capital.

Fighting was also reported in the northern part of the Darfur region, which has seen some of the worst battles since fighting began on April 15.

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