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Sudan's Warring Factions Trade Finger-Points

FILE: Sudan's Army chief Abdel al-Burhan (C R) and RSF chief Mohamed Dagalo (C L) lift documents alongside civilian leaders following the signing of an initial deal aimed at ending a deep crisis caused by last year's military coup, in the capital Khartoum on December 5, 2022.

KHARTOUM - Sudan's warring sides on Thursday accused each other of being behind breaches of the latest cease-fire that was negotiated by the US and Saudi Arabia, now in its third day.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, the Rapid Support Forces [RSF], led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, sought to blame cease-fire breaches on the army led by Sudan's de facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The army "launched a series of unwarranted attacks today," the RSF said, adding that "our forces decisively repelled these assaults."

"Our forces successfully shot down a SAF MiG jet fighter," it said, reiterating however that it remained "committed to the humanitarian truce" and called on the "aggressors to respect the ceasefire."

The army responded Thursday morning, saying it had "countered an attack on armored vehicles by the militias of the Rapid Support Forces in a clear violation of the truce."

The United States and Saudi Arabia, which brokered the cease-fire, on Wednesday pointed to reports "indicating that both sides violated the agreement" but said "fighting in Khartoum appeared to be less intense."

Representatives of the warring Sudanese generals have since early May been involved in negotiations in the Saudi city of Jeddah on the Red Sea.

The one-week truce was violated only minutes after it came into effect on Monday night.

Breaches have since persisted of the cease-fire agreement, which is meant to allow for much-needed humanitarian aid to reach war-ravaged parts of the northeast African country.

It is the latest of a series of truces that have all been systematically violated.

But though the current cease-fire has been breached, it has allowed for a lull in fighting that has seen frightened residents cautiously venture out of their homes, some for the first time in weeks.

Many have gone out for supplies of food and water or to seek much-needed medical attention after nearly six weeks of war that have sharply depleted vital supplies and pushed the healthcare system to the brink of collapse.

The conflict has so far killed over 1,800 people, according to the latest figures from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.

More than a million Sudanese people have been displaced, including 300,000 who have fled to safety in neighboring countries, according to the United Nations.