Sudan: Clashes Persist Despite Saudi-Hosted Talks

The country’s warring rivals continue to fight each other in the capital and Darfur. Meanwhile, both the army and the powerful RSF paramilitary have sent representatives to talks in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

Battles flared in Khartoum on Sunday, with fighting in Sudan between the armed forces and the powerful Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group well into its fourth week.

Representatives from both parties are meanwhile attending talks in Jeddah, mediated by the United States and Saudi Arabia with the aim of achieving a sustainable truce. Multiple cease-fire agreements announced since the start of the fighting on April 15 have been consistently breached.

The Arab League is also meeting in Cairo on Sunday and scheduled to discuss the situation in the conflict-torn country.

Escaping the fighting

Fierce battles in Sudan have killed some 700 people, mostly civilians, with thousands more wounded. A mass exodus of some 100,000 have fled the country, including Sudanese as well as foreign nationals.

“Yes, I am happy to survive,” Manahil Salah, a 28-year-old laboratory doctor on an evacuation flight from the coastal city of Port Sudan to the UAE told Reuters news agency. She had hidden with her family for three days in their home, located near the army headquarters in Khartoum.

“But I feel deep sadness because I left my mother and father behind in Sudan, and sad because all this pain is happening in my homeland.”

Talks unlikely to stop violence

Despite agreeing to the Saudi-hosted talks, both sides have repeatedly stressed they signed up to cease-fires to facilitate humanitarian corridors rather than to end the fighting.

RSF leader Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo confirmed on Saturday his group’s attendance at the talks. He said he hoped they would achieve their intended goal to “establish a cease-fire, open humanitarian corridors, and provide essential services to the people of Sudan.”

Both Dagalo and Sudanese Army General Abdel-Fattah Burhan have vowed to continue the fight until the end.

Andreas Krieg of King’s College London told the French AFP news agency that “the battle for Khartoum is quickly developing into a war of attrition where both sides have similar capabilities and capacities.”

rmt/wd (AFP, Reuters)

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