UN urges end to Sudan conflict as talks continue

STORY: With ceasefire talks between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces reportedly making progress, the United Nations is urging countries with influence in Africa to help end the conflict.

Volker Turk is the U.N.’s human rights chief.

“I take this opportunity to urge all states with influence in the region to encourage, by all possible means, the resolution of this crisis."

Turk added that both sides in the conflict had (quote) “trampled international humanitarian law.”

The U.N. Human Rights Council narrowly passed a Western-backed motion Thursday to increase monitoring of human rights abuses in Sudan.

No African country voted in favor of the initiative.

Ceasefire talks are taking place in the Saudi port of Jeddah and U.S. mediators said on Wednesday they were "cautiously optimistic."

In public neither side has shown it is ready to offer concessions to end the fighting.

Sudan’s Forces of Freedom and Change – a political group leading a plan to transfer to civilian rule – said they welcomed the talks.

The priority is for silencing the sound of gunfire to address the humanitarian problem, executive committee member Khalid Omer Yousif told Reuters.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed since the fighting erupted last month.