Sudan battle rages as Saudi Arabia, US urge new truce talks

Sudan battle rages as Saudi Arabia, US urge new truce talks
Image Caption : Smoke billows behind buildings in Khartoum on June 4, 2023, as fighting between Sudan's warring generals intensified. (AFP)
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Updated 05 June 2023

Sudan battle rages as Saudi Arabia, US urge new truce talks

Sudan battle rages as Saudi Arabia, US urge new truce talks

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the US on Sunday made a renewed push for truce talks between Sudan’s warring generals as deadly fighting raged into its eighth week.

Envoys of Sudan’s regular army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces or RSF have remained in Jeddah despite the earlier collapse of ceasefire talks, the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry said.

The foreign mediators called for “the parties to agree to and effectively implement a new ceasefire, with the aim of building to a permanent cessation of hostilities,” it said.

Saudi Arabia and the US are keen to resume formal talks between the delegations, the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia and the US remain steadfast in their commitment to the people of Sudan, the statement added.

The Sudanese delegations in Jeddah continue to engage in daily negotiations, the ministry said.

“Those discussions are focused on facilitating humanitarian assistance and reaching agreement on near term steps the party must take before the Jeddah talks resume,” according to the statement.

It added: “Facilitators stand ready to resume formal talks and remind parties that they must implement their obligations under the May 11 Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to protect the civilians of Sudan.”

A five-day extension of a truce formally expired on Saturday with no signs of the conflict abating.

Upwards of 1,800 people have been killed, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, and the UN says 1.2 million have been displaced with more than 425,000 fleeing abroad.

The RSF on Sunday claimed it had shot down a fighter jet after the army “launched an audacious airborne assault upon our forces’ positions” in northern Khartoum.

A military source told AFP a Chinese-made jet crashed near Wadi Seidna base north of Khartoum because of a “technical malfunction.”

Witnesses said they saw an aircraft traveling from the south to the north of the capital with flames erupting from it.

Other witnesses spoke of airstrikes on RSF positions in the east of the city, with some civilian casualties reported.

Fighting in the capital has led to widespread damage and looting, a collapse in health services, power and water cuts, and dwindling food supplies.

Beyond the capital, deadly fighting has also broken out in the remote western region of Darfur, already grappling with long-running unrest and huge humanitarian challenges.