Conflicting parties in Sudan meet for negotiations in Saudi Arabia

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Khartoum air strikes are causing smoke to rise. Image source: REUTERS.

Sudan’s conflicting military factions have traveled to Saudi Arabia for their initial in-person talks, according to sources.

On Saturday in Jeddah, preliminary negotiations between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) were planned.

As successive ceasefires have failed to put a stop to the violence that began weeks ago, the meetings were intended to lay the groundwork for future negotiations between the warring parties.

While both parties have stated that they are open to discussing a humanitarian ceasefire, they have not yet agreed to terminate the war.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Faisal bin Farhan, greeted delegates from both sides and expressed optimism that the discussions would result in “the end of the conflict and the return of security and stability to the Republic of Sudan.”

Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, commonly known as Hemedti and the head of the RSF, thanked everyone who had worked to secure a ceasefire and provide help to the Sudanese people on Twitter.

He stressed the RSF’s dedication to aiding the shift to a civilian-led government. Hemedti and Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the nation’s de facto president and head of the Sudanese army, are presently engaged in a power struggle.

The discussions started on Saturday, but reports indicate that fighting is still going on in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.

Over 450,000 civilians have been displaced since the conflict began, and hundreds of people have perished.

More than 115,000 people, according to the International Organization for Migration, have sought asylum in neighboring nations.

The US and Saudi Arabia jointly released a statement urging the opposing factions to put the needs of the Sudanese people and the country first.

Both parties were exhorted in the statement to fully participate in the continuing negotiations and work toward a ceasefire and the end of the conflict.

According to James Elder, a spokesman for the UN Children’s Agency, statistics from medical institutions in Khartoum and Darfur showed that during the conflict’s first 11 days, 190 children died and 1,700 were injured.

He did, however, add that the true numbers are probably much higher. The level of fighting has made it difficult to get desperately needed aid to the impacted areas.

Despite the conflict’s catastrophic effects, Gen. Burhan and Hemedti have thus far shown little interest in reaching a peace agreement.

Hemedti, who had served as the commander of an Arab militia in the terrible Darfur conflict, is still engaged in a power struggle with Sudan’s army commander Gen. Burhan.

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