Sudan’s Warring Factions Sit for Talks Saturday in Saudi Arabia

The two warring factions in the Sudan conflict sent envoys to Saudi Arabia on Friday to negotiate a firm cease-fire agreement, according to officials.

The talks, to begin Saturday in the Saudi city of Jeddah, are the result of an international effort to bring the two sides face to face, hopefully to negotiate an end to the fighting.

Sudanese officials told The Associated Press the talks in Jeddah would be facilitated by Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The Sudanese officials also told AP that opening humanitarian corridors in Khartoum and Omdurman, and providing protection to civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, will be among the topics discussed.

Saturday will be the first time representatives from Sudan’s military, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, have met for talks since the fighting erupted April 15.

The fighting has killed hundreds, forced hundreds of thousands to flee and has brought Sudan to the brink of collapse.

The talks Saturday come after previous fragile cease-fire agreements failed to end the fighting.

The United Nations migration agency said this week that at least 334,000 people have been internally displaced by the fighting, in addition to the 100,000 who have fled the country. The U.N. refugee agency has warned the fighting could cause more than 800,000 people to flee Sudan.