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US, Saudi Arabia urge Sudan’s warring sides to agree to ceasefire amid renewed fighting

CAIRO – Saudi Arabia and the United States urged Sudan’s warring parties in a statement to agree to “effectively implement” a new ceasefire amid renewed fighting in the northeast African nation.

Chaos broke out in Sudan in mid-April after fighting broke out between the army led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

For weeks, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been mediating between the warring sides. On 21 May, the two countries successfully mediated a temporary ceasefire agreement to help provide much-needed humanitarian aid to the war-torn country. However, their efforts suffered a setback when on Wednesday the army announced it would no longer participate in ceasefire talks held in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah.

Following the military’s decision, the US and Saudi Arabia said they were suspending talks “as a result of repeated serious violations of the short-term ceasefire”. US President Joe Biden’s administration imposed sanctions against major Sudanese defense companies run by the army and the RSF, and those “promoting violence” in Sudan.

Washington and Riyadh said in statements today that they would continue to engage representatives of the military and RSF who are in Jeddah. They urge the Sudanese warring parties to agree to and implement a new ceasefire, after the latest ceasefire expired on Saturday. They say the aim is to eventually end hostilities permanently in the war-torn country.

The statement said the talks focused on “facilitating humanitarian assistance” and reaching an agreement on “near-term steps the parties should take” before resuming the talks.

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