Sudan's army has sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia's Jeddah for ceasefire talks as part of a joint Saudi Arabia and the United States initiative, Al Jazeera reported citing an army statement.
The delegation departed for Jeddah on Friday evening. The development came after both the army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces said they will only discuss humanitarian ceasefires and not hold negotiations on ending the conflict in Sudan.
According to the Sudanese army, the army delegation will speak about the "details of the truce in the process of being extended" with its paramilitary foes. The Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry in a statement on Friday said that the joint initiative aims at reducing tensions in Sudan, as per the Al Jazeera report.
A joint US-Saudi statement welcomed the beginning of "pre-negotiation talks" in Jeddah between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The statement from the US and Saudi governments said they "urge both parties to take in consideration the interests of the Sudanese nation and its people and actively engage in the talks towards a ceasefire and end to the conflict, which will spare the Sudanese people's suffering and ensure the availability of humanitarian aid to affected areas".
A delegation departed for Jeddah
Sources in the Sudanese army have said that a delegation departed for Jeddah, Al Jazeera reported. According to sources, the delegation included three army officers which include a general and an ambassador.
Air raids and gunfire continued to rock Khartoum on Friday, showing no indications of abating despite attempts at a lasting ceasefire. Regular army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had supported the weeklong ceasefire brokered by South Sudan on Wednesday.
The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Friday said they were extending the ceasefire brokered under US-Saudi mediation by three days. Multiple truces have been agreed to since the fighting between the rival security forces started on April 15. However, none of them has been respected.
So far, about 700 people have been killed in the conflict. Most of them have been killed in Khartoum and the western Darfur region, Al Jazeera reported citing Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. The United Nations Human Rights Council has announced that it will hold a special session on the situation in Sudan on May 11.
The gathering will take place in Geneva after a request submitted by the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway and the United States on Friday which 52 countries have so far supported, according to UNHRC, as per the Al Jazeera report.
Meanwhile, the UN children's agency, UNICEF, warned on Friday that "the situation in Sudan has become fatal for a frighteningly large number of children," as per the news report. A spokesman for the UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Friday warned the conflict could cause hunger and malnutrition for 19 million people in the coming months.
(With ANI inputs)
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