Sudan renews ceasefire but fighting continues

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Rival factions of Sudan’s military have agreed to renew a three-day ceasefire, shortly before it was due to expire.

The extension – for another 72 hours – follows intensive diplomatic efforts by neighbouring countries, as well as the US, UK and UN.

But there are continuing reports of heavy fighting in the capital Khartoum.

The previous truce allowed thousands of people to attempt to flee to safety, while dozens of countries have tried to evacuate their citizens.

Almost two weeks of fighting between the army and a rival paramilitary group have left hundreds dead.

Early on Thursday evening the Sudanese regular army agreed to an extension, and its rival the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) followed suit hours later.

South Sudan has offered to host peace talks, and the army has agreed to send representatives to the talks.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was “very actively working” to extend the truce, adding that while imperfect it had reduced violence.

At least 512 people have been killed in the fighting and almost 4,200 injured, although the real number of deaths could be much higher.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it expected there to be “many more” deaths due to outbreaks of disease and a lack of services.

It should be recalled that rhe fighting broke out on 15 April as the result of a bitter power struggle between the regular army and RSF.