Sudan rival parties agree to 72-hour ceasefire: Mediators
A new Saudi-US mediated 72-hour ceasfire is announced in Sudan.
Sudan's rival sides agreed to a fresh 72-hour ceasefire beginning Sunday, according to Saudi and US mediators, as hostilities erupted in Khartoum, killing scores.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America announce the agreement of representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces on a ceasefire throughout Sudan for 72 hours," a Saudi Foreign Ministry statement said late Saturday.
This comes after a citizens' group said airstrikes killed or injured more than two dozen civilians in Khartoum on Saturday, as medics reported hundreds of injured leaving Sudan's western Darfur area amid the growing violence of a two-month conflict.
The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) claimed to have shot down a fighter plane from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). A military source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, told AFP that a plane did go down but blamed it on a "malfunction".
The SAF, led by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, has been engaged in a power struggle with the RSF, led by his former deputy Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, since April 15.
Witnesses say airstrikes have intensified in the capital over the past few days.
Increase in death toll
The death toll in the country has surpassed 2,000 since the fighting began, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.
Hundreds of kilometers (miles) west of Khartoum, up to 1,100 people have been killed in the West Darfur state capital El Geneina alone, according to the US State Department.
Medics said Saturday that they were overwhelmed by the hundreds of injured fleeing Sudan's Darfur area, which has become a growing source of concern around the world.
The latest ceasefire was announced on June 9 after Sudan's rival parties agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire. "Representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) agreed to a 24-hour countrywide ceasefire beginning on June 10 at 6:00 am (0400 GMT)," said the statement released by Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry.
“They also agreed to allow the unimpeded movement and delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout the country,” it added.
The mediators said they put forward the most recent truce in an effort to end a cycle of violence that has resulted in hundreds of deaths and more than 1 million displaced persons.
Twenty-four hours later fighting erupted in Sudan between the warring parties.