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Sudan Army reportedly suspends participation in Saudi-hosted cease-fire talks

May 31, 2023 at 2:15 pm

A view of streets as clashes continue between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) despite the agreement on cease fire in Khartoum, Sudan on April 30, 2023 [Ömer Erdem/Anadolu Agency]

Sudan’s Army reportedly suspended participation in Saudi Arabia-hosted cease-fire talks with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, Anadolu Agency reports.

The news was carried by a number of Sudanese media outlets, including Al Jareeda newspaper and the Alrakoba news portal.

There was no confirmation yet from the Sudanese Army.

The reports emerged as fierce clashes erupted, late Tuesday, between the Army and RSF fighters in the capital, Khartoum, and El-Obeid city, the capital of North Kordofan state.

A 7-day cease-fire brokered by Saudi Arabia and the US between the two sides expired on Monday. The conflicting rivals agreed to extend the agreement for five more days.

READ: UNICEF says 13.6m children in dire need of relief in Sudan

At least 863 civilians have been killed and thousands injured in clashes between the Army and the RSF since 15 April, according to local medics.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than one million people have been internally displaced by the conflict.

A disagreement had been fomenting in recent months between the Army and the RSF over the paramilitary group’s integration into the armed forces, a key condition of Sudan’s transition agreement with political groups.

Sudan has been without a functioning government since October 2021, when the military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s transitional government and declared a state of emergency in a move decried by political forces as a “coup”.

Sudan’s transitional period, which started in August 2019 after the ouster of President Omar Al-Bashir, had been scheduled to end with elections in early 2024.