JUBA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, on Wednesday welcomed mediation efforts by neighboring South Sudan to end the month-long fighting with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).
Youssef Izzat al-Mahri, the political advisor to the RSF, said they are willing to implement the cease-fire agreed upon on May 11 with the SAF in the coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
"We welcome South Sudan; we know President Salva Kiir has more understanding of the crisis in Sudan in general, and he has a role to play to stop the war. We welcome the contribution of South Sudan in stopping the fighting and attaining peace in Sudan," Izzat said during a press conference held in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Despite the two warring factions signing the Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid and guarantee the safe evacuation of civilians, heavy fighting as well as air and artillery bombardment continue in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.
"We have agreed on a cease-fire to end the conflict that has now taken a month and two days; as RSF, we have to play a role in implementing the signed cease-fire and the beginning of the political process," Izzat said.
He denied accusations that the RSF was using civilians as human shields in ongoing fierce fighting with the Sudanese military since April 15, adding that the RSF has been protecting foreign embassies and assisting civilians exiting Khartoum.
Izzat called on Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the head of the SAF, to respect the cease-fire that was initiated recently by the two sides with mediation from Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Deng Dau Deng, South Sudan's acting minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said Wednesday that Kiir called upon both parties to respect the cease-fire deal.
He said Sudan's neighbors like South Sudan, Egypt, Chad, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, and Libya are currently grappling with the huge refugee influx across their borders.
"We are the neighboring countries to Sudan, and he (Kiir) talked on their behalf to give this appeal to the representative of the RSF, and also he has been communicating with Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan Abdel Fattah al-Burhan," Deng said.
He added that they also discussed the opening of humanitarian corridors, particularly the hospitals and water points.
Sudan has witnessed deadly armed clashes between the SAF and the RSF in Khartoum and other areas since April 15, with the two sides accusing each other of initiating the conflict. ■