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Temporary cease-fire between warring forces in Sudan reached, U.S. and Saudi Arabia announce

Sudanese people sit on a bus as they traverse the Nile River on a ferry after crossing the border from Sudan, in Abu Simbel, southern Egypt, on Thurday. According to the UNHCR office, more than 100,00 Sudanese have crossed into Egypt since the beginning of an armed conflict on 15 April between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces militia. Photo by Khaled Elfiqi/EPA-EFE
Sudanese people sit on a bus as they traverse the Nile River on a ferry after crossing the border from Sudan, in Abu Simbel, southern Egypt, on Thurday. According to the UNHCR office, more than 100,00 Sudanese have crossed into Egypt since the beginning of an armed conflict on 15 April between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces militia. Photo by Khaled Elfiqi/EPA-EFE

May 20 (UPI) -- A temporary cease-fire between warring forces in Sudan has been reached, according to the United States and Saudi Arabia -- which brokered the deal.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that the seven-day cease-fire was signed by representatives from the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces -- a paramilitary faction created to defeat a rebellion in Darfur more than two decades ago that is loyal to a former warlord.

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The cease-fire is scheduled to go into effect at 9:45 p.m. local time on Monday.

Unlike previously announced cease-fires that were not observed, the warring parties agreed to monitoring by the United States and Saudi Arabia with international support. Three members each from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, as well as the two warring parties, will be a part of the monitoring committee.

The monitoring committee's powers as outlined by the agreement include publicly identifying violators and "calling for accountability" as well as mediating any disputes that arise.

"Given the brutality of the conflict, our immediate focus has been on stopping the fighting to relieve the suffering of the Sudanese people," the U.S. State Department statement reads.

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"The Jeddah talks have focused on a short-term ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services. They are not a political process and should not be perceived as one."

The latest data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, published nearly three weeks ago, shows that more than 750 people died in the first weeks of the fighting.

Last month, the U.S. military successfully evacuated the American Embassy in Khartoum of all U.S. government personnel.

President Joe Biden said at the time that the evacuation was a success because of "critical" support from Saudi Arabia, as well as the nations of Djibouti and Ethiopia.

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