Sudan: Army halts Saudi truce talks with rival paramilitary RSF

Sudan: Army halts Saudi truce talks with rival paramilitary RSF

The Sudanese  army has terminated talks with rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on Wednesday over a truce and aid access, heightening fears that the six-week-old conflict may drive Africa’s third-largest country deeper into a humanitarian disaster.

The military forces announced in a statement that they had stopped discussions in the Saudi city of Jeddah, accusing the opposing side of a lack of commitment to fulfilling the conditions of the agreement and a continual violation of the ceasefire.

The army took the decision “because the rebels have never implemented a single one of the provisions of a short-term ceasefire which required their withdrawal from hospitals and residential buildings, and have repeatedly violated the truce”, a government official, told the AFP news agency.

Negotiations with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began in early May and resulted in a declaration of promises to protect civilians as well as two short-term truce agreements, which were regularly breached.

On Wednesday, witnesses said the RSF had strengthened its presence in central Khartoum’s Mogran area. Heavy confrontations were also reported across the Nile in northern Omdurman and northern Bahri till Wednesday evening.

On Monday, US and Saudi mediators announced that the army and the RSF had agreed to extend a humanitarian ceasefire by five days.

According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, more than 1,800 people have been killed since combat erupted between competing security forces on April 15.

The United Nations noted that over a million people have been internally displaced, and approximately 350,000 have gone abroad, with over 170,000 fleeing to neighbouring Egypt.

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