Sudan’s warring factions not taking advantage of talks to achieve agreed truce: US

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Sudan’s warring factions are not taking advantage of talks initiated by the US and Saudi Arabia meant to yield a permanent ceasefire as they originally agreed, a senior US State Department official said on Tuesday.

The US is consulting Saudi Arabia and others in the Arab world and Africa about a path forward and hoped to announce a recommended approach in the next few days, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters in Washington.

“We think we’ve given them every shot. We’ve given them this venue to try and come together and try and find a way forward that doesn’t involve achieving an outcome that’s based on violence or military dominance,” the official said.

“They are clearly not taking advantage of the format that we’ve given them. It’s not succeeding in the way they had originally agreed in terms of this step by step process to reach a permanent cessation of hostilities.”

The war between Sudan’s regular army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces began in mid April and has forced almost 2 million people to flee and wrecked the economy.

The talks in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah have failed to permanently end fighting and clashes intensified as soon as a ceasefire ended on Sunday. The army refused to extend that 24-hour ceasefire, the US official said.

Airstrikes, artillery fire and gunfire erupted in the capital Khartoum and adjoining cities Bahri and Omdurman, killing civilians.

The violence continued in some areas of Khartoum on Monday, while some residents reported relative calm. The fighting has trapped civilians in a worsening humanitarian crisis in which people are frequently without electricity and water.

At least 866 people have been killed and over 6,000 injured in the fighting, the UN said on Thursday, citing government statistics.

A second senior State Department official told reporters there was a “dawning realization” among the warring parties that there was no acceptable military solution. This had not yet translated, however, into willingness to take tangible steps to lock in a longer ceasefire and a broader permanent cessation of hostilities, the official said.

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