Sudan peace effort resumes in Saudi Arabia

The war between two military factions has entered its fourth month

Paramilitary RSF forces in Khartoum, Sudan.  There are indications representatives of the warring sides are back in Jeddah, where talks were held. Reuters
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Sudanese Armed Forces representatives have returned to Saudi Arabia for talks with paramilitary forces fighting for power, government sources said on Saturday.

“A delegation of the armed forces has returned to Jeddah to resume negotiations with Rapid Support Forces rebels,” one source said.

The RSF has made no comment on returning to Jeddah.

The war between two forces led by rival generals – Army chief Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and RSF commander Gen Mohamed Dagalo – has entered its fourth month. Sudan has been rocked by violence since April 15, when tensions burst into open fighting.

More than 3,000 people are known to have been killed, but the toll is likely much higher, according to doctors and human rights campaigners.

Sources for the Sudanese government told international news agencies that its representatives were in Jeddah to resume talks.

Previous discussions in Jeddah, brokered by Saudi Arabia and the US, were suspended by both countries in early June after ceasefire violations. Saudi Arabia and the US have yet to confirm the resumption of talks.

Separately, a mediation attempt, launched by Egypt, began on Thursday – an effort welcomed both by the Sudanese Armed Forces, which has close ties to Egypt, and the RSF.

The Egyptian proposal will include opening up safe corridors to deliver humanitarian aid to millions of people trapped by the fighting between the army and the paramilitary group in the capital and elsewhere in the vast Afro-Arab nation, officials told The National.

A series of ceasefires have all failed to halt the fighting.

The conflict has created a humanitarian crisis, displacing more than three million and leaving millions more trapped in the capital Khartoum, with little food, power or running water and scarce health services.

Of those displaced, more than 700,000 have crossed into neighbouring countries.

On Saturday, at least four civilians were killed and four injured in a drone attack on a hospital in the city of Omdurman, Sudan's Health Ministry said, claiming the RSF was responsible.

The worst of the fighting has taken place in Khartoum and in the western region of Darfur, where a quarter of Sudan's 48 million people live.

The UN has said that most hospitals in combat zones are out of service.

Updated: July 16, 2023, 6:58 AM