Home » US, Saudi Arabia call on warring sides in Sudan to extend ‘imperfect’ ceasefire

US, Saudi Arabia call on warring sides in Sudan to extend ‘imperfect’ ceasefire

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US, Saudi Arabia call on warring sides in Sudan to extend ‘imperfect’ ceasefire

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United States and Saudi Arabia on Sunday called on the warring sides in Sudan to extend a ceasefire that expired Monday.

The Sudanese army and a rival paramilitary force, which have been fighting for control of the country since mid-April, last week agreed to a one-week truce brokered by Washington and Riyadh. However, the ceasefire, like other previous agreements, did not stop the violence in the capital, Khartoum, and in other parts of the country.

In a statement Sunday morning, the United States and Saudi Arabia called for an extension of the current truce, which expired at 9:45 a.m. local time Monday.

“Although imperfect, an extension will facilitate the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people,” the statement said.

The text also urged the military government of Sudan and the Rapid Support Forces to continue negotiating.

Fighting between the army and the powerful FAR broke out in mid-April. Both army chief General Abdel-Fattah Burhan and FAR leader Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo led the 2021 coup that toppled the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The fighting turned Khartoum and the neighboring city of Omdurman into a battlefield. The violence also spread to other parts of the country, such as the Darfur region, already devastated by war.

Hundreds of people have died, thousands are injured and the country has been brought to the brink of collapse. The conflict forced more than 1.3 million people to flee their homes, seeking safer places within Sudan or in neighboring countries.

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Residents reported further sporadic clashes on Sunday in Omdurman, where army aircraft were seen flying over the city. Fighting was also reported in Al Fasher, the provincial capital of North Darfur.

The Riyadh-Washington statement was published two days after Burhan demanded in a letter to the United Nations Secretary General the dismissal of the UN envoy to the country. The UN chief said he was “appalled” by the letter, according to a spokesman.

The envoy, Volker Perthes, has been a key mediator in Sudan, first during frustrated transition attempts to democracy and later in efforts to end the current fighting.

Burhan sent his letter after Perthes accused the two sides of ignoring the laws of war by attacking homes, businesses, places of worship, and electrical and water installations.

In his report to the United Nations Security Council last week, Perthes blamed the army and FAR leaders for the war, saying they have decided to “solve their unresolved conflict on the battlefield rather than at the table ( of negotiations”.

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