Khartoum, June 1 (EFE).- Sudan Thursday announced the extension of its airspace closure after ceasefire talks collapsed amid a raging armed conflict for a power struggle between the army and a powerful paramilitary group.
The decision to leave the airspace closed until June 15 came even as political and civil society groups called for a negotiated solution to the deepening violent crisis.
The Sudanese news agency (SUNA) said the Civil Aviation Authority issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) to announce the extension.
The extension, however, “excludes humanitarian aid and evacuation flights” that can operate after necessary permissions from the competent authorities.
Sudan closed its airspace after the fighting began between the army and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (FAR) on April 15.
The extension of the airspace closure came hours after the army suspended peace talks with the paramilitary group brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The army accused the paramilitary of failing to adhere to conditions agreed to as a precondition to peace negotiations.
The negotiations, which took place indirectly and in secrecy in the Saudi city of Jeddah, resulted in a seven-day truce that came into force on May 22.
The truce was extended on Monday for another five days to convince the army and the paramilitary to agree to a permanent ceasefire.
So far, the two warring factions have respected none of the nine ceasefires reached since the violent outbreak.
Khartoum residents and the Sudanese media said on Thursday that the fighting intensified since a day ago.
New clashes erupted Thursday morning in the south of the capital and the neighboring city of Omdurman, rocked by loud explosions due to airstrikes and artillery shelling.
An association of Sudanese doctors said 17 people lost their lives, and more than 100 suffered wounds in a violent shelling in Khartoum after ceasefire extension talks broke down.
The Forces for Freedom and Change, a coalition of opposition political forces, called on the warring groups to return to the Jeddah dialogue, comply with the truce, and find a peaceful political solution to end the crisis.
“We call on both sides to respond to the voices of reason, strictly abide by the provisions of the truce agreement, and complete the Jeddah negotiations,” said the coalition.
At least 850 people have been killed in the last 45 days of fighting, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Another more than 5,500 people have been injured, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva earlier this week, citing the Sudanese health ministry.
More than 1.3 million people have been displaced by the conflict, according to the UN. EFE