Sudan army to resume US-Saudi led talks on ending war

The Sudanese army said Wednesday it has accepted an invitation to resume US- and Saudi-brokered talks aimed at ending more than six months of conflict with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The war between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, has killed more than 9,000 people and displaced over 5.6 million since it erupted in April.

Previous mediation attempts have only succeeded in brief truces, and even those were systematically violated.

Read: Sudan protagonists send mixed signals as fighting continues

In a statement, the army said it had accepted an invitation from Saudi Arabia and the United States to travel to the Saudi city of Jeddah “out of a belief by the armed forces that negotiations is one of the means that may end the conflict”.

“The resumption of negotiations does not mean a halt of the national battle of dignity, for the defeat of the rebel militia,” the statement added.

The war in Sudan has decimated already fragile infrastructure, shuttered 80 percent of the country’s hospitals and plunged millions into acute hunger.

“For six months, civilians — particularly in Khartoum, Darfur and Kordofan — have known no respite from bloodshed and terror,” said UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths.

In the western region of Darfur, ethnically motivated attacks by the RSF and allied militias have triggered a new investigation by the International Criminal Court into possible war crimes.

According to the UN, Sudan — where many had fled their homes in previous conflicts — is now “the largest internal displacement crisis in the world with over 7.1 million people displaced within the country”.

The UN’s Griffiths said that six months into the conflict, “basic services are crumbling”, disease outbreaks are “stalking the country” and “aid workers continue to be stymied in reaching people in need”.

Read: Sudan health crisis worsens amid violence

A projection by the US’s Johns Hopkins University indicated that “at least 10,000 children under five years of age may die by the end of 2023”.

Diplomatic attempts to end the fighting have repeatedly floundered, as the rival generals continued to seek a decisive military advantage.

The first round of talks was adjourned in June after yielding little success and a series of repeatedly violated ceasefires.

Two years ago, Burhan and Daglo led a coup on October 25, 2021 that derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule.

They later fell out in a power struggle that erupted into all-out war on April 15.