Sudanese army agrees to 7-day truce extension in Khartoum

This file photo shows the smoke is seen in Khartoum, Sudan on April 22, 2023. The fighting in the capital between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces resumed after an internationally brokered cease-fire failed. (PHOTO / AP)

KHARTOUM – The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) on Wednesday announced an agreement to a regional initiative proposing a one-week ceasefire to stop the armed clashes between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

SAF announced an agreement to a one-week ceasefire offered by IGAD to stop the armed clashes. However, the RSF has not yet commented on the IGAD initiative

"As part of its initiative to deal with the country's current crisis, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) offered a new proposal including extending the current truce for a week and naming a representative from each side to discuss the truce," the statement said.

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"The SAF expressed acceptance of the proposal based on the principle of African solutions to the issues of the continent, and in consideration to the humanitarian aspects of our citizens, taking into account the ongoing American-Saudi initiative," it added.

The SAF stressed that it hopes the other party would abide by the requirements of the proposed truce.

However, the RSF has not yet commented on the IGAD initiative.

On Wednesday, fighting continued in central Khartoum. The Sudanese police said in a statement that the RSF ambushed one of its patrols in central Khartoum and killed five of its personnel.

In response, the RSF said it had repulsed an attack by an army force dressed in uniforms of the central reserve police forces, which attempted to attack the RSF posts in central Khartoum.

READ MORE: Sudan conflict could prompt 800,000 people to flee, UN says

Meanwhile, given that clashes have pushed the country to the edge of a humanitarian crisis, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths arrived in Sudan.

"Just arrived in Port Sudan to reaffirm the UN's commitment to the Sudanese people," Griffiths tweeted Wednesday.

He expressed gratitude for the unwavering dedication of the humanitarian community and local volunteers doing their best to help.

Sudanese evacuees wait before boarding a Saudi military ship to Jeddah port, at Port Sudan, Sudan, May 2, 2023. Many are fleeing the conflict in Sudan between the military and a rival paramilitary force. (PHOTO / AP)

Regarding the local endeavors to end the armed conflict in the country, Khalid Omer Yousif, spokesman of the political process in Sudan, welcomed in a statement on Wednesday any efforts to ensure a ceasefire.

According to UN, thousands of Sudanese citizens have been displaced in Sudan and neighboring countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia and Chad

Yousif urged for coordinating the regional and international efforts to back the push for a ceasefire, saying "we call for a comprehensive ceasefire and then a return to the negotiation table."

READ MORE: Sudan sides trade blame, fight on despite ceasefire

Fighting between the SAF and the RSF in Khartoum and other areas erupted on April 15, with the two sides accusing each other of initiating the conflict which has pushed the country to the edge of a humanitarian crisis.

According to UN statistics, thousands of Sudanese citizens have been displaced or forced to seek refuge in safe areas in Sudan and neighboring countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia and Chad.

So far, the deadly clashes have left more than 550 people dead and 4,926 others wounded, according to the Sudanese Health Ministry.