Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

Sudan faces displacement crisis as truce talks yield no progress

2023-05-09T10:39:13Z

Residents of Sudan’s capital reported air strikes overnight and sporadic gun battles on Tuesday morning amid what they call a surge in looting, with no sign of progress in ceasefire talks taking place in Saudi Arabia.

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 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, 45, 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 neighbouring states that were already in crisis at a time when rich countries have cut back on aid.

The World Health Organisation also on Tuesday 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 in 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 the 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.

Related Galleries:

Sudanese refugees, who fled the violence in their country, wait to receive food supplies from a Turkish aid group (IHH) near the border between Sudan and Chad in Koufroun, Chad May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Sudanese women, who fled the violence in their country and who were waiting desperately for food distribution, dodge the soldiers attempting to hold them back as they tried to grab bags of provision when they saw that supplies brought by a Turkish aid group (IHH) were running out, near the border between Sudan and Chad in Koufroun, Chad May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Sudanese refugees, who fled the violence in their country, wait to receive food supplies from a Turkish aid group (IHH) near the border between Sudan and Chad in Koufroun, Chad May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

A Sudanese refugee, who fled the violence in his country, smiles after he received food supplies from a Turkish aid group (IHH) near the border between Sudan and Chad in Koufroun, Chad May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Sudanese refugees, who fled the violence in their country, wait to receive food supplies from a Turkish aid group (IHH) near the border between Sudan and Chad in Koufroun, Chad May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra