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Sudan’s Warring Factions in Saudi Arabia for Talks

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Delegations from the two warring factions in the conflict in Sudan have arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks.

Locals gather after kicking out a group of looters who broke into a car showroom in southern Khartoum on May 7, 2023 as fighting continued in the Sudanese capital.

The talks in Jeddah between the African nation’s military and rival paramilitary group are expected to focus on opening humanitarian corridors in Khartoum and Omdurman, the locations of the harshest battles, so far.

The two sides – Sudan’s military, led by General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, led by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo – have not met since the fighting erupted April 15.

The fighting has killed hundreds, forced hundreds of thousands to flee and has brought Sudan to the brink of collapse.

Fragile cease-fire agreements have failed to end the conflict.

The United Nations migration agency said last week that at least 334,000 people have been internally displaced by the fighting, in addition to the 100,000 who have fled the country. The U.N. refugee agency has warned the fighting could cause more than 800,000 to flee Sudan.

Many are going to the seven countries bordering Sudan, including Chad, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Most aid operations have been suspended or severely scaled back due to the lack of security. Several aid workers have been killed in the fighting.

Looting also has hampered aid operations.

The World Food Program said nearly 17,000 tons of food worth between $13 million and $14 million have been stolen from its warehouses across Sudan.

WFP has said it is working to determine what supplies remain. Before the fighting, WFP had more than 80,000 tons of stocks in the country. The agency still plans to provide food assistance for 384,000 people in coming days.

The U.N. refugee agency’s Darfur coordinator said looting has long been a problem in Darfur, and many of their facilities have been robbed since April 15.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said recently it has launched an emergency appeal to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to deliver assistance to 200,000 people.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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