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Envoys of Sudan's warring generals in Jeddah for truce talks

Joint Saudi-US initiative between the two warring generals aims to reduce 'the levels of tension' in Sudan
Sudanese Army soldiers rest near a tank at a checkpoint in Khartoum, on 30 April 2023 (AFP)

Sudan’s two opposing generals sent their envoys to Saudi Arabia for truce talks as part of a joint Saudi-US initiative.

The delegation left for Jeddah on Friday after both sides in Sudan - Sudan’s military led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo - said they would not discuss negotiations on ending the war, rather they’d only discuss humanitarian ceasefires, the Sudanese army said in a statement.

The envoys were sent to discuss "details of the truce in the process of being extended", the statement said.

This comes after Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the developments of a joint initiative to host both Sudanese warring parties in Jeddah. The UN on 3 May also pressured Sudanese factions to guarantee safe passage of humanitarian aid after six trucks had been looted.

The joint initiative aims at "reducing the levels of tension" in Sudan, a statement by the Saudi foreign ministry said. 

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Sudan has been gripped by intense violence after clashes broke out between the country's military and the Rapid Support Forces. 

Tensions between the two military men have been simmering for weeks over disagreements on incorporating the RSF into Sudan’s regular army.

Hospitals have been bombed, ambulances hijacked, and medical workers attacked during the past two weeks of fighting. Authorities in the city have declared a state of emergency. 

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Since fighting flared up in the country, more than 3,700 people have been injured and more than 420 have died, according to the World Health Organisation.

Saudi Arabia has attempted to position itself as a mediator between Sudan’s warring factions and even civilian actors. 

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache building in the Sudanese capital Khartoum was attacked by an armed group that destroyed equipment and cameras and seized some of the property.

With the raging violence, thousands of people have rushed to the Egypt-Sudan border crossing after a risky ride with high-priced bus tickets and long checkpoint waits. Riyadh is reportedly in discussions to run a direct cruise line from Port Sudan to Yemen’s Aden.

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