The ceasefire began on May 22 and ended last Saturday night
A major escalation of clashes today in several areas of Khartoum after the expiration of the ceasefire that had been agreed between the rival factions with the mediation of Saudi Arabia and the United States, the residents of the capital of Sudan are speaking.
Eyewitnesses also reported that a military plane had crashed in Omdurman, one of three cities around the confluence of the Nile that form the capital’s wider periphery.
So far there has been no comment from the military, which has been using fighter jets to hit paramilitary Rapid Support Forces deployed in the capital as part of the conflict that erupted on April 15 and has sparked a major humanitarian crisis.
Saudi Arabia and the US have said they continue to hold daily talks with delegations from the armed forces and the Rapid Support Force, which have remained in Jeddah even as talks on extending the ceasefire broke down last week.
“The focus of these talks is on facilitating humanitarian aid and reaching agreement on short-term measures to be taken by the parties before the talks resume in Jeddah,” the two countries said in a joint statement.
The ceasefire started on May 22 and ended yesterday, Saturday, evening. It had led to some reduction in the intensity of fighting and limited humanitarian access, but like previous ceasefire agreements it was repeatedly violated.
Among the areas where fighting is reported today are central and southern Khartoum and Bahri, on the other bank of the Blue Nile to the north.
“In southern Khartoum we live in terror of heavy shelling, the sound of anti-aircraft guns and power outages. We are in real hell,” said 34-year-old resident Sarah Hassan.
Beyond the capital, bloody fighting also broke out in Darfur’s remote western region, which is already scarred by a long-running conflict and faces huge humanitarian challenges.
The conflict, now seven weeks old, has displaced 1.2 million people within the country, while another 400,000 have fled to neighboring countries.
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