US, Saudi Arabia call on Sudan warring sides to extend ceasefire

The United States and Saudi Arabia have called on the warring sides in Sudan to extend a fragile ceasefire as weeks of fighting reached a deadlock in the capital and elsewhere in the African country.

In a joint statement on Sunday, Washington and Riyadh called for an extension of the current truce, scheduled to expire at 9:45 pm [19:45 GMT] on Monday.

‘While imperfect, an extension nonetheless will facilitate the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people,’ the statement said.

It also urged Sudan’s military government and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to continue negotiations to reach an agreement on extending the ceasefire.

The fighting broke out in mid-April. Both military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo led the 2021 coup that removed the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The conflict has killed hundreds of people, wounded thousands and pushed the country to near collapse. It has forced nearly 1.4 million people out of their homes to safer areas inside Sudan or to neighboring nations, according to the UN migration agency.

The army and RSF had agreed last week to the weeklong truce brokered by the US and the Saudis. However, the ceasefire, like others before it, did not stop the fighting in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere in the country.

Residents reported renewed sporadic fighting on Sunday in parts of the capital’s adjacent city, Omdurman, where the army’s aircraft were seen flying over the city. Fighting was also reported in al-Fasher, the provincial capital of North Darfur.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said the delivery of humanitarian aid had not been possible in many parts of the capital and country.

‘Humanitarian aid was able to trickle in by Saturday, but it reached very few people,’ Morgan said. ‘People are worried that with the ceasefire due to expire, there will be more fighting and that they will be caught up between the two sides.’

Source: Somali National News Agency