The warring parties in Sudan have agreed to a seven-day truce starting May 4, in a phone conversation with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, the foreign ministry in Juba said Tuesday, raising hopes of an end to weeks of bloodshed.

Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy turned rival, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, “have agreed in principle for a seven-day truce from May 4th to 11th,” the ministry said in a statement.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands wounded in the fighting as air strikes and artillery exchanges have pounded swathes of greater Khartoum, sparking the exodus of thousands of Sudanese to neighbouring countries.

The two sides have also agreed “to name their representatives to peace talks to be held at any venue of their choice”, the statement from Juba said.

Kiir was speaking to Burhan and Daglo as part of an initiative by the East African regional bloc IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development), which has been pushing for an end to the fighting, echoing calls by the African Union and the international community.

Multiple truces agreed since fighting began on April 15 have been repeatedly violated, including one previously announced by South Sudan early in the fighting, which saw renewed air strikes on Tuesday.

“We are hearing some sporadic gunfire, the roaring of a warplane and the anti-aircraft fire at it,” said one resident of south Khartoum.

Other witnesses reported air strikes in north and east Khartoum.

The latest battles come during a 72-hour ceasefire extension announced by the warring sides on Sunday. The army said that measure came due to “US and Saudi mediation”.

The repeated violations sparked criticism earlier Tuesday at a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, of the Extended Mechanism on the Sudan Crisis which brought together African, Arab, United Nations and other representatives.

“The two generals even though they accept the ceasefire, at the same time they continue fighting and shelling the city,” said Ismail Wais, of the eight-nation northeast African bloc IGAD.

Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, told the meeting that, “Despite intense meditation efforts… that have obtained successive commitments by SAF and RSF to cease hostilities, the situation in Sudan remains of deep concern as the parties continue their fighting.


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