Sudanese army, RSF begin direct talks in Saudi Arabia
May 6, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have commenced talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to a joint statement released by the United States and Saudi Arabia, on Friday.
SAF and RSF delegations arrived in the Saudi Red Sea city on Friday in response to a joint initiative by the Saudi and U.S. government to reach a cease-fire and bring an end to the ongoing conflict that broke out in Khartoum and some states in the Darfur region on April 15.
The joint statement welcomed the start of the direct talks between the two groups and urged both parties to consider the interests of the Sudanese people and actively participate in the negotiation process.
The purpose of the cease-fire is to “spare the Sudanese people’s suffering and ensure the availability of humanitarian aid to affected areas”. said the statement.
The two countries expressed their appreciation for the countries and organizations that supported the negotiation process, including Quad countries (the KSA, the UAE, the UK, and the USA), the League of Arab States, and partners from the Trilateral Mechanism (UNITAMS, the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development).
The joint statement concluded by urging continued, coordinated international support for an expanded negotiation process that should include engagement with all Sudanese parties.
These talks come amid reports of continued clashes in Khartoum between the belligerents which led to the killing of over 550 civilians.
The ongoing conflict also has caused severe shortages of essential supplies and limited access to critical services, which has further intensified the already dire humanitarian situation, including food and health needs.
The political forces signatory of the Political Framework Agreement welcomed the launch of the Jeddah process and expressed hope that the talks would lead to a cessation of hostilities and an address to the humanitarian situation, paving the way for a sustainable peaceful political solution.
“The talks mark the initial effort to put a halt to the rapid deterioration that has afflicted our nation since the outbreak of the war on April 15,”. reads a statement released by the spokesman of the signatories.
“We are optimistic that the leaders of the SAF and the RSF will demonstrate courage and make decisions that will reinforce the voice of reason, bring an end to hostilities, and alleviate the suffering of our people caused by the conflict,” he further stressed.
The Saudi-funded Asharq TV reported that the SAF delegation includes General Abu Bakr Faqiry and Ambassador Omer Siddig, while the RSF delegation includes General Omer Hamdan, RSF Major Quni Hamdan Daglo who is Hemetti’s brother, and Fares al-Nour, an advisor to the RSF Commander.