Army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan cheers with soldiers as he visits some of their positions in Khartoum. File/AFP
The general command of the armed forces said in a statement it suspended talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah, accusing the other side of a lack of commitment in implementing any terms of the agreement and a continuous violation of the ceasefire.
The negotiations with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which began in early May, had produced a declaration of commitments to protect civilians and two short-term ceasefire deals, although those deals were repeatedly violated.
Residents had reported heavy clashes in southern Khartoum and in Omdurman across the River Nile until late on Tuesday.
The army, which relies on airpower and artillery, and the RSF, a more lightly armed force but a tough adversary in Khartoum street battles, had agreed to extend a week-long ceasefire deal by five days just before its Monday expiry.
Army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, a career military officer, and RSF General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, a former militia commander known as Hemedti, have been locked in a battle for power since April 15. Neither side seems to have an edge.
"We do not want to use lethal force. We still haven't used our maximum strength ... We don't want to destroy the country," Burhan said in a military video released on Tuesday, speaking to cheering forces at a military base with a gun slung on his back
"But if the enemy does not obey and does not respond we will be forced to use the strongest force we have," he said.
Abdel Fattah Al Burhan (left) and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo. File/AFP
The RSF said in a statement late on Tuesday it was committed to the ceasefire "despite repeated violations" by the army.
Sudan has a history of political upheaval, coups and conflicts, but violence has usually hit regions far from Khartoum. This time, fighting has centred on the capital, an urban sprawl at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers and home to millions of people.
Commenting on the Sudanese army's withdrawal from the Jeddah talks, Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt, African Union spokesperson on the crisis in Sudan, said: "It is not surprising. It happens often. We hope the mediator will succeed to bring both parties for working on expected ceasefire."
The capital has seen widespread looting and frequent power and water supply cuts. Most hospitals have stopped functioning.
The latest mediation attempt was launched in Egypt on Thursday. Both the army, which has close ties to Egypt, and the RSF paramilitary group welcomed the effort.
The fighting broke out on April 15 as the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces vied for power, since when more than 3 million people have been uprooted, including more than 700,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs commended the efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and US to facilitate the signing of this Declaration, which provides for a ten-day ceasefire to enable the delivery of relief supplies and humanitarian aid,
That the fighting between the two rival forces in Sudan – the army on the one hand, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSH), a militia-turned-political actor -- continue to fight despite the mediatory efforts made by Saudi Arabia and the United States shows that the two sides are fighting a political battle to gain control of the country as
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