Residents of Sudan’s capital reported air strikes overnight and sporadic gun battles on Tuesday morning amid what they called a surge in looting, with no sign of progress in ceasefire talks taking place in Saudi Arabia.
Sudan conflict’s parties to hold negotiation talks on Saturday
Sudan’s warring parties were set to meet on Saturday in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah for talks, Riyadh and Washington said, as international…
The violence has accelerated a wave of people fleeing their homes, with the number of people internally displaced inside Sudan more than doubling in a week now to more than 700,000, the U.N.’s migration agency said.
“The biggest danger is the spread of robbery and looting and the total absence of the police and the law,” said Ahmed Saleh, from Khartoum’s adjoining sister city of Bahri. Homes, shops, and warehouses have all been targeted, residents said.
The eruption of conflict between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary risks a prolonged war that could draw in outside powers and unleash a new humanitarian crisis across the region.
The United Nations estimates that 5 million additional people will need emergency assistance inside Sudan, while 860,000 are expected to flee to neighboring states that were already in crisis at a time when rich countries have cut back on aid.
The World Health Organization also raised the confirmed death toll to more than 600, with 5,000 injured, though the true figure is thought to be much higher.
Meanwhile, there has been no outward sign of progress with the talks that have taken place in Saudi Arabia since Saturday, despite their limited goal of a ceasefire to allow humanitarian access. Repeated earlier truce deals have already been broken.
The army, under General Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, and the RSF, under General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, had joined forces in a military coup in 2021, reconfiguring a planned transition to civilian rule.
But they fell out over the terms and timing of the transition, leading to the sudden explosion of fighting in Khartoum on April 15 that quickly spread to the Darfur region, where a conflict had already rumbled since 2003.
On Monday, Burhan said in a television interview that he wanted peace.
“We believe a peaceful solution is the ideal route to handle this crisis,” he said, but gave no indication he was ready to make concessions.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said he had spoken with Burhan on Tuesday and said Ankara was willing to host further talks on a more comprehensive settlement.
How large is the aid crisis being caused by the Sudan fighting?
Aid workers say fighting between rival military factions in Sudan is pushing poorly-funded humanitarian programmes in the region to a breaking point.
Even before the violence began on April 15, millions of people in Sudan and neighboring countries were dependent on aid due to poverty and conflict. Since then, hundreds have been killed, including at least five humanitarians; food stocks have been looted; and many international aid workers have left.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR is seeking an additional USD 445 million to cope with an expected exodus of 860,000 people to six of Sudan’s seven neighbours – Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan and Central African Republic – by October.