Sudan's army, RSF paramilitaries in Saudi Arabia for direct talks

Sudan coup crisis Abdel Fattah al-Burhan General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo

Sudan's Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (left) and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces commander, General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (left).

Photo credit: AFP

Delegations representing both the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) arrived Saturday in Saudi Arabia to hold their first face-to-face negotiations.

Upon arrival, representatives were welcomed by Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan.

The "pre-negotiation talks" between the two rival forces were due to start on Saturday in Jeddah, sponsored by the US and Saudi Arabia.

According to sources, both sides will discuss a humanitarian solution but not an end to the conflict.

However, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan hoped that the talks would "lead to the end of the conflict and the return of security and stability to the Republic of Sudan"

In a joint statement, Saudi Arabia and the United States welcomed the start of the pre-negotiation talks between the Sudanese parties.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States urge both parties to take into consideration the interests of the Sudanese nation and its people and actively engage in the talks towards a ceasefire and an end to the conflict, which will spare the Sudanese people suffering and ensure the availability of humanitarian aid to affected areas," read the statement.

They also urged continued and coordinated international support for an expanded negotiation process that should include engagement with all Sudanese parties.

RSF leader, Gen Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, on Twitter welcomed the joint statement by Saudi Arabia and the United States, initiating talks between the conflicting parties in Jeddah.

"We appreciate all regional and international efforts to establish a ceasefire, open humanitarian corridors, and provide essential services to the people of Sudan," he said.

Gen Daglo, also known as Hemedti, affirmed the RSF's commitment to democracy and the transition to a civilian-led government.

 "We underscore once more our belief in the need for a transitional civilian government that fosters a sustainable democratic transition and fulfills the aspirations of our people for security, stability, and development.”

Gen Daglo further expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia and the United States for sponsoring this initiative, and a special thanks to the Saudi leadership for hosting the talks.

"We remain hopeful that the discussions will achieve their intended goals," he added.

Saturday's talks came amid reports of continued clashes in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in fierce fighting that has continued for three weeks, while nearly 450,000 civilians have been displaced.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says more than 115,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

thiopia said it is receiving at least 1,000 people, fleeing Sudan, on a daily basis.