A humanitarian truce in Sudan was extended on Sunday and will last for three days starting from midnight, according to a statement released by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) spokesman.
"In response to international, regional and local calls, we announce the extension of the humanitarian truce for 72 hours, starting from midnight tonight, in order to open humanitarian corridors and facilitate the movement of citizens and residents and enable them to fulfill their needs and reach safe areas," the statement said.
The Sudanese army said in a statement on Sunday that it had agreed to extend a truce with the paramilitary RSF for a period of 72 hours, starting from the end of the current ceasefire arrangement.
The army said that although the rebels had intended to try to attack some sites it hoped that they would abide by the ceasefire.
Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands wounded since a long-simmering power struggle between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted into conflict on April 15.
Locked in a battle for Khartoum, Sudan's capital on the Nile, the parties have fought on despite a series of ceasefires secured by mediators including the United States, the latest of which expires at midnight (2200 GMT).
The situation in Khartoum, where the army has been battling RSF forces entrenched in residential areas, was relatively calm on Sunday morning, a Reuters journalist said, after heavy clashes were heard on Saturday evening near the city center.
The army said on Sunday it had destroyed RSF convoys moving towards Khartoum from the west. The RSF said the army had used artillery and warplanes to attack its positions in a number of areas in Khartoum province.
Reuters could not independently verify the reports.
In an apparent bid to boost its forces, the army said on Saturday that the Central Reserve Police had begun to deploy in southern Khartoum and would be deployed gradually in other areas of the capital.
Sudan's police said that the force had been deployed to protect markets and property that had been subjected to looting. The RSF on Saturday warned it against becoming involved in fighting.
The force is a large and heavily-armed division of Sudan's police force that has fighting experience from conflicts in the western region of Darfur and in the Nuba Mountains in southern Sudan.
In March 2022, the United States imposed sanctions on the force, accusing it of using excessive force against protesters who were demonstrating against a 2021 military coup.
'I left everything'
The fighting in Khartoum has so far seen RSF forces fan out across the city as the army tries to target them largely by using air strikes from drones and fighter jets.
The conflict has sent tens of thousands of people fleeing across Sudan's borders and prompted warnings the country could disintegrate, destabilizing a volatile region.
"I left everything - my house, my car my everything and all my savings for 13 years. I’m leaving here, just to save my life," said Mohammed Ali, a Pakistani man waiting to be evacuated from Port Sudan, part of an exodus of foreigners.
The prospects for negotiations have appeared bleak.
Army leader General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has said he would never sit down with General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti. The RSF chief in turn said he would talk only after the army ceased hostilities.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, whose government has played a part in mediating ceasefires, met Burhan envoy Daffalla Al-Haj Ali in Riyadh, the Saudi foreign ministry said.
"The foreign minister affirmed the Kingdom's call for calm, prioritizing national interest and stopping all forms of military escalation," the ministry said.
UN special representative in Sudan, Volker Perthes, told Reuters on Saturday he had recently sensed a change in the sides' attitudes and they were more open to negotiations, and were saying they would accept "some form of talks," though no timetable had been set.
With the United Nations reporting only 16% of health facilities in Khartoum operating as normal, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delivered 8 tonnes of medical aid.
"Health-care workers in Sudan have been doing the impossible, caring for the wounded without water, electricity, and basic medical supplies," said Patrick Youssef, the ICRC’s regional director for Africa.
But while approval had been given for the supplies to go to Khartoum, negotiations were ongoing with the sides to facilitate delivery within the city, where hospitals, convoys and ambulances have been attacked, he said.
At least five aid workers have been killed in the fighting.
A third of Sudan's 46 million people needed humanitarian aid before fighting began.
The fighting has derailed an internationally-backed political transition aimed at establishing democratic government in Sudan, where former autocratic President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was toppled in 2019 after three decades in power.
"This war will not lead to a singular army or to a democratic transition and there is no guarantee that the deposed regime will not return to power once more," prominent civilian politician Khalid Omar Yousif said on Twitter.
At least 528 people have been killed and 4,599 wounded, the health ministry said. The United Nations has reported a similar number of dead, but believes the real toll is much higher.
The US government and multinational partners have helped nearly 1,000 Americans leave Sudan since recent violence began, while a second government convoy arrived in Port Sudan on Sunday, according to the US State Department.
US citizens and others eligible for the convoy would continue on to Saudi Arabia, where personnel were staged to help facilitate emergency travel, State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement on Sunday.
Canada has ended its operation evacuating people from the Wadi Seidna airfield, near Khartoum, in Sudan due to the dangerous and volatile conditions on the ground, Defence Minister Anita Anand said on Sunday.
"Because of the dangerous conditions, and in concert with decisions made by our allies, no further Canadian flights are planned from the Wadi Seidna airfield," Anand told a news conference.
Sudan's rival military forces accused each other of fresh violations of a ceasefire that is set to expire on Sunday as their deadly conflict continued for a third week despite warnings of a slide towards catastrophic civil war.
There remain in Sudan roughly 230 Canadian affected persons seeking assistance and information through Global Affairs Canada, Anand said.
Global Affairs Canada is the government department that manages Canada's diplomatic and consular relations.
Canada began its evacuation operation from Sudan on Thursday.
It has since conducted six flights, including two on Saturday, airlifting almost 550 people, while approximately 400 Canadians and permanent residents have been evacuated, including on Canadian and allied flights, Anand said.
The government is working with allies to find alternative departure options, including via Port Sudan, said Anand.
Britain has arranged an extra evacuation flight from Port Sudan in eastern Sudan which will depart on Monday, the government said on Sunday.