Army fighter jets target point in Khartoum amid talks in Jeddah
Sudanese Army jets target the Rapid Support Forces in residential areas in Khartoum, Sudan, as the war in the country nears its first full month.
Fighter jets targeted points in Khartoum as representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) meet in Saudi Arabia to prevent a "humanitarian catastrophe" after the war between the two sides threatened civilians.
A witness said that SAF jets targeted the RSF in west Khartoum as guerilla fighting among heavily populated areas in the country closes to a full month. So far, the war has killed more than 750 people while hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced or forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries.
In Khartoum, estimates reveal that more than 500,000 people have escaped from the capital as hospitals have been shelled and residents suffer from food, medicine, and electricity shortage making living conditions in the city extremely difficult.
Representatives of the warring parties headed to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for a series of week-long talks that are supposed to "protect Sudan from any escalation that will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe," an anonymous Saudi diplomat told AFP.
The diplomat also said Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who leads the SAF, has been invited to attend the Arab League summit scheduled on May 19 at Jeddah, but it still remains unknown who will be representing the war-ridden country on the day.
"We didn't receive the name of the delegations, but we're really expecting Sudan will be present in," the diplomat informed AFP.
Hopes of a cease-fire are slim
The warring parties in Sudan signed Thursday a humanitarian commitment as the country gets taken by storm in light of the battles, although they were unable to reach a truce, as the SAF has previously stated that it will not tolerate the presence of RSF after April's events.
"This is not a ceasefire. This is an affirmation of their obligations under international humanitarian law, particularly with regard to the treatment of civilians and the need to create space for humanitarians to operate," one official said.
A Saudi official said Wednesday that the ceasefire talks between the warring parties yielded "no major progress," diminishing hopes for a swift end to the clashes, as loud explosions again rocked greater Khartoum on Wednesday, with fighting between Sudan's warring generals showing no let-up.
Humanitarian crisis ensues
Amid these high-level talks, witnesses in Omdurman said that "houses are shaking from the force of explosions," as prospects for a ceasefire remain slim, amid calls for the restoration of electricity, water, and other basic services shortages that have been experienced across the country.
Moussa Hassan, a resident of Kassala, said, "Prices have skyrocketed" in the city as hundreds of thousands seek refuge from the war-torn capital. He added, "Local authorities have declared a state of emergency" in order to ration essential goods and prevent price gouging in Kassala.
The UN rights chief Thursday called on the international community to exert all possible pressure on the fighting sides in Sudan to resolve the conflict and end "the wanton violence."
The fighting has plunged "this much-suffering country into catastrophe," United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk expressed.
Addressing a special session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Sudan, Turk urged "all states with influence in the region to encourage, by all possible means, the resolution of this crisis."
An RSF statement Friday said the group had signed the Jeddah agreement despite their "full knowledge" that the army "will not heed the suffering of our people."
Around 200,000 people have sought refuge outside of Sudan, according to the UNHCR, while the International Organization for Migration said more than 700,000 people are now internally displaced due to fighting.
The spokesperson of the UN Refugee Agency Olga Sarrado said, "As violence in Sudan continues for a fourth week, nearly 200,000 refugees and returnees have been forced to flee the country, with more crossing borders daily seeking safety."
Read more: More than 71mln people internally displaced worldwide in 2022: Reports.