Air strikes hit Sudan as truce talks yield no breakthrough

Air strikes have again shaken Sudan’s capital while the latest truce talks in Jeddah yielded no progress and a Saudi diplomat said both sides consider themselves “capable of winning the battle”.

By Monday, the talks had yielded “no major progress”, a Saudi diplomat told AFP news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“A permanent ceasefire isn’t on the table… Every side believes it is capable of winning the battle,” the diplomat added.

Sudan was thrown into deadly chaos when fighting broke out on April 15 between the forces of army chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan and his deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The battles have since killed hundreds, wounded thousands and uprooted hundreds of thousands, leading to fears of security fallout beyond Sudan’s borders.

Those unable to escape are left barricaded inside their homes struggling to survive with dire shortages of essential supplies and communication links disrupted.

The feuding generals have sent representatives to Saudi Arabia for talks on establishing a humanitarian truce in an effort also backed by the United States, but to no avail so far.

In Khartoum, a city of five million, terrified residents reported more combat, now in its fourth week, as they hid in their homes, trying to cope with power outages and sweltering heat.

A southern Khartoum resident told AFP the family could hear “the sound of airstrikes which appeared to come from near a market in central Khartoum”

‘Dangerous everywhere’

The fighting has sparked a mass exodus of foreigners and of Sudanese, in both air and sea evacuations as well as arduous overland journeys to Egypt, Chad, South Sudan and other neighbouring countries.

“It’s very dangerous everywhere,” said Rawaa Hamad, who escaped from Port Sudan on an evacuation flight carrying 71 people to Qatar on Monday.

In Sudan, she said, people endure “a lack of everything — a lack of water, lack of fuel, lack of medicine, lack of even hospitals and doctors”.

The battles have killed more than 750 people and injured over 5,000, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.

The United Nations has warned of a widening humanitarian crisis. Fighting has already displaced 335,000 people and created in excess of 120,000 refugees.

More than 60,000 Sudanese have fled north into Egypt, 30,000 west to Chad, and over 32,000 to South Sudan, according to the UN.

The UN’s top humanitarian official, Martin Griffiths, has travelled to the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, and a UN official said on Monday that Griffiths had “asked to join the negotiations” between the warring sides, but that his request had not been approved so far.

Mediation efforts

Saudi Arabia is pushing for “a timetable for expanded negotiations to reach a permanent cessation of hostilities”, its foreign ministry said.

The Jeddah talks, which are set to continue “in the following days”, aim to reach “an effective short-term halt” to the fighting, facilitating aid delivery and restoring basic services, it added.

Since mid-April, multiple truce deals have been declared and quickly violated in the poverty-stricken country with a history of instability.



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