In recent developments, Sudan’s warring parties have resumed peace talks in Saudi Arabia, marking a significant step toward ending a conflict that has raged for over six months, leaving thousands dead and displacing millions. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the situation, the key players involved, and the prospects for achieving lasting peace in Sudan.
The Conflict’s Background
Since April, Sudan has been gripped by a devastating conflict between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). This brutal war has had dire consequences, with more than 9,000 lives lost and over 5.6 million people displaced.
Resumption of Talks: Peace Talks
A glimmer of hope emerged as both sides announced their acceptance of an invitation to resume peace negotiations in Jeddah, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia. Previous mediation attempts had resulted in only brief truces, often systematically violated. However, this time, the talks are being conducted “in partnership” with representatives of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a prominent East African regional bloc.
Call for Compliance Peace Talks
A critical element of these negotiations is the call for both parties to abide by previous agreements, including one made on May 11 to protect civilians and a short-term ceasefire deal signed on May 20. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is keen on achieving unity to halt the bloodshed and alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people.
International Involvement on Peace Talk
The international community’s role in these talks is pivotal. The United States, which previously mediated during the crisis, played a significant part in finalizing the details for this new round of negotiations during a recent visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Saudi Arabia. While the talks aim for a ceasefire, discussions on a lasting political solution are yet to come.
Focus of the peaceTalks
The primary focus of the new round of talks is to ensure unhindered humanitarian access and to establish ceasefires and other confidence-building measures. The need for humanitarian assistance is paramount, as the conflict has left many in dire need of support.
As the talks resumed, reports emerged of continued fighting in various parts of Sudan, indicating the challenges that lie ahead. For example, witnesses reported fighting in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state. Furthermore, the RSF, a paramilitary force, announced that they had taken “complete control” of army positions in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur and Sudan’s second most populous city.
Hopes for Sudan’s Future
Riyadh has expressed its hope for a political agreement that will bring security, stability, and prosperity to Sudan and its people. Achieving lasting peace in Sudan is not only essential for the nation but also for the entire region.