Saudi, U.S report better adherence to Sudan ceasefire after days of fighting
Saudi Arabia and the U.S. said Friday the warring sides in Sudan's conflict are adhering better to a week-long ceasefire following days of sporadic fighting.
The truce, brokered by Riyadh and Washington, went into effect Monday, but fighting continued in Khartoum and the western Darfur region. Particularly intense clashes flared up on Wednesday, the two countries said in a joint statement.
The conflict in Sudan erupted in mid-April after months of escalating tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, a powerful paramilitary commanded by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. The conflict has killed at least 863 civilians, including at least 190 children, according to the most recent numbers from the Sudanese Doctors' Syndicate.
The week-long ceasefire is the seventh attempt at a truce after the others were violated.
A new cross-party committee tasked with monitoring potential violations observed Wednesday the "use of artillery and military aircraft and drones, credible reports of airstrikes, sustained fighting" in Khartoum and Darfur.
Amid the reported calm on Thursday, humanitarian missions were able on to deliver "urgently needed medical supplies to several locations in Sudan," the joint statement said. Efforts were also underway to restore telecommunications services in the capital, Khartoum, and other areas of the country, it said.
On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned both parties of possible sanctions if the latest cease-fire was not adhered to.
The U.N. says More than a million Sudanese have been internally displaced, while some 300,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. The conflict has pushed the East African country to the brink of collapse, with urban areas of Khartoum and its sister city Omdurman disintegrating into battlegrounds.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said late Thursday that the World Food Program has reached more than half a million people in nine states with food and nutrition support since restarting distributions about three weeks ago.
Riyadh and Washington called on the military and the RSF to continue to respect the cease-fire.