Saudi FM urges halt to military escalation in Sudan in calls with Burhan, RSF leader

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Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made two phone calls on Sunday morning with Sudan’s Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

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They discussed the security situation in the Republic of Sudan, where violence erupted on Saturday.

The foreign minister reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s call for calm and stopping military escalation, and returning to the framework agreement outlining the transition to a civilian-led government.

Sudan’s army pounded RSF bases with airstrikes on Sunday, and at least 59 civilians including three UN workers were killed.

A Saudia airlines plane was also hit with gunfire in Khartoum on Saturday, although all of the crew members and passengers were transported safely to the Saudi embassy, the airline said.

It has been the first flareup of violence between the two sides since they joined forces to oust former leader Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Fighting was sparked by a disagreement over integrating the RSF into the military as part of the transition towards civilian rule.

The governments of both Egypt and South Sudan have offered to mediate between the fighting parties.

Heavy gunfire raged in Khartoum on Sunday as both sides attempted to secure key positions including the presidential palace, which the army said it has regained control over.

“The hour of victory is near,” the army said in a statement on Sunday. “We pray for mercy for the innocent lives taken by this reckless adventure taken by the rebel Rapid Support militia ... We will have good news for our patient and proud people soon, God willing.”

Sudan’s MTN telecommunications company blocked internet services on the orders of the government telecommunications regulator, two company officials told Reuters on Sunday.

Sudan state television cut its transmission on Sunday afternoon, Reuters reporters in Khartoum and several other cities outside the country said, although it was not immediately clear what caused the outage.

With Reuters

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