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

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

Sudan descended into chaos after fighting broke out in mid-April between the military, led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.

For weeks, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been mediating between the warring parties. On May 21, both countries successfully brokered a temporary cease-fire agreement to help with the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid to the war-torn country. Their efforts, however, were dealt a blow when the military announced on Wednesday it would no longer participate in the cease-fire talks held in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah.

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

In their statement today, Washington and Riyadh say they continue to engage representatives of the military and the RSF who remain in Jeddah. They urge the Sudanese warring sides to agree to and implement a new ceasefire following the latest one which expired late Saturday. The aim is to eventually establish a permanent cessation of hostilities in the war-wrecked country, they say.

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

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

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