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UN Security Council urges Sudan factions to cease hostilities


(Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Friday called on warring factions in Sudan to cease hostilities, as fighting continued in the capital Khartoum after the collapse of talks to maintain a ceasefire and ease a humanitarian crisis.

A press statement agreed by the 15-member body in New York expressed “deep concern” over the clashes and condemned all attacks on civilians, UN personnel and humanitarian agencies.

The council “emphasized the need for the parties to immediately cease hostilities, facilitate humanitarian access and establish a permanent ceasefire arrangement and to resume the process towards reaching a lasting, inclusive, and democratic political settlement in Sudan,” the statement said.

The council also agreed to extend the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan, but only for six months, the statement said.

Robert Wood, a diplomat from Washington’s UN mission, told the council the United States regretted that members had been unable to agree on an updated mandate for the UN mission given the “drastically changed circumstances” since violence broke out between rival armed groups in April.

“We hope that the council can come together in the months ahead and agree on a resolution that more accurately reflects the situation on the ground” and approves the mission, he said.

(Reporting by Simon Lewis; editing by Grant McCool)

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