Sudan: Fierce battles reported after extension of ceasefire deal

Sudan: Fierce battles reported after extension of ceasefire deal

Residents reported hearing intense clashes in Sudan’s capital on Tuesday, despite the decision of the fighting military factions to extend a ceasefire meant to allow aid to reach civilians.

Heavy fighting occured in all three adjoining cities that make up Sudan’s greater capital around the Nile’s confluence – Khartoum, Omdurman, and Bahri – just hours before the ceasefire extension was signed.

The army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) agreed to extend a week-long truce agreement by five days late on Monday but this has not helped in stopping the warring parties from exchanging gun fires.

In a statement the Rapid Support Forces accused the Sudanese army of violating the truce, saying that it defended itself against an attack and took over an army base.

Earlier, the Sudanese army leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan appeared in a video on Tuesday greeting troops. He announced that the army had agreed to the ceasefire extension to ease citizens’ access to basic services in a bid to ease their sufferings as a new ceasefire is about to take effect.

The latest ceasefire was brokered and remotely watched by Saudi Arabia and the United States. The two countries said the agreement has been violated by both sides but has allowed aid to reach an estimated 2 million people.

Since the conflict erupted on April 15, nearly 1.4 million people have fled their homes with over 350,000 crossing into neighboring nations.

U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said in a statement that over 13.6 million children in Sudan, were in urgent need of lifesaving humanitarian support.

Volker Turk, the United Nations’ human rights chief, warned on Tuesday that fighting in Khartoum, which has expanded to the war-torn Darfur area, might take on a “inter-ethnic dimension which would be terrible.

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