Sudan battles rage as US, Saudi urge new truce talks

The United States and Saudi Arabia on Sunday made a renewed push for truce talks between Sudan’s warring generals as deadly fighting has raged into its eighth week.

Multiple ceasefires have been agreed and broken, and Washington slapped sanctions on the two warring generals last week, blaming both sides for the “appalling” bloodshed.

Envoys of Sudan’s regular army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have remained in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah despite the earlier collapse of ceasefire talks, the kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

The foreign mediators called for “the parties to agree to and effectively implement a new ceasefire, with the aim of building to a permanent cessation of hostilities”, Riyadh said.

A five-day extension of a US- and Saudi-brokered truce formally expired on Saturday with no signs of the conflict abating and fears that the rival sides were poised for an escalation.

Upwards of 1,800 people have been killed, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, and the UN says 1.2 million have been displaced with more than 425,000 fleeing abroad.

The RSF on Sunday claimed it had shot down a fighter jet after the army “launched an audacious airborne assault upon our forces’ positions” in northern Khartoum.

A military source told AFP a Chinese-made jet crashed near Wadi Seidna base north of Khartoum because of a “technical malfunction”.

Witnesses said they saw an aircraft traveling from the south to the north of the capital with flames erupting from it.

Other witnesses spoke of air strikes on RSF positions in the east of the city, with some civilian casualties reported.

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