KHARTOUM: Residents of Sudan's capital again awoke to heavy clashes Sunday morning just hours after rival generals agreed to an upcoming one-week ceasefire amid ongoing talks in Saudi Arabia.
The ceasefire -- the latest following many successive truces that have been systematically violated -- is set to go into effect at 9:45 pm on Monday, the US and Saudi Arabia said in a joint statement.
The ceasefire "shall remain in effect for seven days and may be extended with the agreement of both parties", the statement added after talks in Jeddah.
Multiple truces have been violated since fighting broke out five weeks ago, which the Saudi foreign ministry acknowledged in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency early Sunday.
"Unlike previous ceasefires, the Agreement reached in Jeddah was signed by the parties and will be supported by a US-Saudi and international-supported ceasefire monitoring mechanism," it said.
The fighting pits the Sudanese army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by Burhan's former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
Around 1,000 people have been killed and over a million displaced throughout the weeks of intense fighting, leaving millions more with sporadic access to water, electricity or medicine.
In Khartoum, doctors have repeatedly condemned bombardments on hospitals which have come under attack by both the air force's fighter jets and the RSF's artillery.
Residents of densely-populated neighbourhoods have accused RSF fighters of widespread break-ins and looting, with many families returning to their homes only to find them occupied by paramilitary fighters.
Civilians and aid agencies have for weeks pleaded for both sides to secure humanitarian corridors to let in urgently needed assistance.
With most banks shuttered, access to food is becoming increasingly difficult amid crippling fuel shortages.
Warehouses and food factories have been looted, attacked and burned, raising alarm bells in what was already one of the world's poorest countries.
Currently, 25 million people -- more than half of the population -- need humanitarian aid, the highest number the United Nations has ever recorded in the country.
A prolonged conflict -- which analysts warn is likely -- will cause millions more to become food insecure and push a million people to flee into neighbouring countries, according to the UN.
The UN's special envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, on Saturday flew to New York, where he is due to brief the Security Council on Monday. — AFP