Sound of air strikes echoes in Khartoum as US pushes for longer ceasefire



The United States and African nations were racing to secure an extension of a ceasefire in Sudan on Thursday, with the Sudanese army saying it had given an initial nod to an African proposal calling for talks even as heavy fighting continued.

Hundreds of people have been killed in nearly two weeks of conflict between the army and a rival paramilitary force — the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) — which are locked in a power struggle that threatens to destabilise the wider region.

An RSF statement accused the army of attacking its forces on Thursday and spreading “false rumours”, making no reference to the proposal which the army said came from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an African regional bloc.

The sound of airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire could be heard in Khartoum and the nearby cities of Omdurman and Bahri, witnesses and Reuters journalists said.

The existing three-day ceasefire brought about a lull in fighting, without completely halting it, but is due to expire at midnight (2200 GMT).

Many foreign nationals remain stuck in Sudan despite an exodus marking one of the largest such evacuations since the withdrawal of US-led forces from Afghanistan in 2021.

Sudanese civilians, who have been struggling to find food, water and fuel, continued to flee Khartoum on Thursday.

The army late on Wednesday said its leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had given initial approval to the plan to extend the truce for another 72 hours and to send an army envoy to the South Sudan capital, Juba, for talks.

The military said the presidents of South Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti worked on a proposal that includes extending the truce and talks between the two forces.—Agencies