Reporta say fighting has continued in the Sudanese capital despite both sides agreeing a ceasefire (Photo © Gettyimages)

Seize the Opportunity of Peace Talks in Saudi, AU & Igad urge Sudan’s Warring Sides

ADDIS ABABA – African Union and regional bloc IGAD urged Sudan’s warring armed groups to seize the opportunity of their first face-to-face talks in Saudi Arabia.

The talks over humanitarian truce between representatives of Sudan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began in Jeddah on Saturday.

Both sides have said they will discuss a humanitarian truce but not an end to the conflict, reports say.

Today, The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Workneh Gebeyehu said he “is closely following” the humanitarian ceasefire talks.

He urged “the two sides to seize the opportunity of the face-to-face talks to silence the guns.”

Saudi Arabia and the United States facilitated the ongoing negotiations for a ceasefire. A humanitarian truce is “a matter of urgency”, African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement on Saturday.

It is “a first step to allow for the immediate supply of relief materials to ease the suffering of Sudanese civilians,” Mahamat added.

The Chairperson also urged both to promptly agree to open humanitarian corridors to ease the distribution of essential supplies and restoration of services.

It is also imperative for the two to permanently silence the guns in the supreme interest of the people of Sudan, the chairperson added.

Gen Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who leads the RSF, said on Twitter that the group appreciated all efforts to establish a ceasefire and provide the Sudanese people with aid.

He also insisted the RSF was committed to “the transition to a civilian-led government”, stating the group was “hopeful that the discussions will achieve their intended goals.”

Gen Daglo, better known as Hemedti, is engaged in a bitter power struggle with Sudan’s army commander, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan – the country’s de facto president.

Saturday’s talks come amid reports of continuing clashes in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Hundreds of people have been killed and nearly 450,000 civilians displaced since the fighting began three weeks ago.