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Fighting continues in Khartoum with a ceasefire broken by both sides

Fierce fighting could be heard in central Khartoum on Thursday as the army tried to push back the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) from areas around the presidential palace and army headquarters, with a lasting ceasefire appearing elusive.

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Each side appears to be battling for control of territory in the capital ahead of any possible negotiations, though the leaders of both factions have shown little public willingness to hold talks after more than two weeks of fighting.

Heavy bombardments also rang out in the adjoining cities of Omdurman and Bahri. Both sides had agreed to a seven-day ceasefire, which has been violated.

“Since yesterday evening there have been air strikes and the sounds of clashes. We’ve got into a state of permanent terror because the battles are around the centers of residential neighborhoods. We don’t know when this nightmare and the fear will end,” said Al-Sadiq Ahmed, a 49-year-old engineer from Khartoum.

The RSF accused the army of breaching a ceasefire and attacking forces since dawn. It said the army attacked its residential neighborhoods with artillery and aircraft in a “cowardly manner”.

The United Nations, meanwhile, pressed Sudan’s warring factions to guarantee safe passage of humanitarian aid after six trucks were looted and air strikes in the capital undermined a supposed truce.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said he hoped to have face-to-face meetings with representatives of the Sudanese army and RSF within two to three days to secure guarantees from them for aid convoys to deliver relief supplies.

The United Nations has warned that fighting between the army and RSF, which erupted on April 15, risks causing a humanitarian catastrophe that could spill into other countries. Some 100,000 people have fled Sudan with little food or water to neighboring countries.

It is estimated that so far 550 people had died and nearly 5,000 were wounded in the conflict.

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