Sudan ceasefire monitoring group, U.S. discussing alleged violations -State Dept
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alleged violations of the ceasefire agreed by Sudan's army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces are being discussed by the Saudi Arabia-based monitoring panel and the United States, as well as the warring sides, the State Department said on Tuesday.
The truce, reached on Saturday after five weeks of battles, appeared on Tuesday to have brought some relief from heavy fighting, although artillery fire could be heard in parts of Khartoum.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told a news briefing that members of the ceasefire panel of Saudi and U.S. officials and representatives of the warring sides were discussing alleged ceasefire breaches with their chains of command and with Washington.
"We've obviously seen the reports (of breaches). The officials on the monitoring mechanism are looking into those reports," he said. "When we see violations of the ceasefire (we) make those known publicly as well as directly engage with both sides to the conflict."
State Department officials have been speaking since the fighting erupted with the top generals and other officials of the sides and will continue doing so "to press them to stop the violence when we see violations of the ceasefire," Miller said.
"We do have additional tools available to us" to pressure the combatants "and we will not hesitate to use those tools if and when it's appropriate to do so," he continued, without elaborating.
(Reporting by Jonathan Landay and Simon Lewis; Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)