Talks between Sudan's warring sides fall apart

Talks between Sudan's warring sides fall apart

Negotiations between Sudan's warring parties fell apart Wednesday as both sides accused the other of cease-fire violations.

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) announced its decision to suspend its participation in talks with the with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a powerful Sudanese paramilitary group, due to the RSF's "lack of commitment in implementing any of the terms of the agreement and its continuous violation of the cease-fire.”

There was no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia or the United States, which have been mediating the negotiations for weeks in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

MORE: Sudan's rival forces hold peace talks amid shaky cease-fires

PHOTO: Destroyed vehicles are pictured outside the burnt-down headquarters of Sudan's Central Bureau of Statistics, on al-Sittin (sixty) road in the south of Khartoum, May 29, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)

In response to the military's move, the RSF said in a statement that it "unconditionally backs the Saudi-U.S. initiative" and the "recent SAF violations have not deterred us from honoring our commitments."

The development came after the two sides agreed to a five-day extension of a shaky humanitarian cease-fire that was set to expire Monday evening. Both Riyadh and Washington had expressed impatience with persistent breaches of the weeklong truce.

MORE: What is happening in Sudan?

PHOTO: Remnants of cluster munitions are seen at a clearance site in Ayii, Eastern Equatoria state, in South Sudan, May 11, 2023. (Sam Mednick/AP)

Fighting erupted in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, on April 15 in a culmination of weeks of tensions between Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the commander of the SAF, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemedti, the head of the RSF. The two men were once allies who had jointly orchestrated a military coup in 2021 that dissolved Sudan's power-sharing government and derailed its short-lived transition to democracy, following the ousting of a long-time dictator in 2019.

Now, they are battling for control of the resource-rich North African nation and neither has shown any real indication of backing down.

The conflict has left hundreds of people dead, thousands more wounded and hundreds of thousands displaced, according to figures from the United Nations. It has also prompted a number of countries, including the U.S., to evacuate personnel from Sudan and shutter diplomatic missions there indefinitely. Meanwhile, aid groups have struggled to get desperately needed supplies into the war-torn country.

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