Ceasefire talks are taking place in Saudi Arabia while fighting continues in Khartoum.
Here is the situation on Monday, May 8, 2023:
- Battles continued raging in Khartoum on Sunday as envoys from Sudan’s warring parties – the national army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – were in Saudi Arabia for talks that mediators hope will bring an end to a three-week-old conflict.
- Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Khartoum, said the Sudanese army “has made it clear that these are not peace talks; it’s only meant to open humanitarian corridors for those who are in need of assistance … and those who want to leave the capital,” Morgan said.
- Ahmed al-Amin, a resident of the Haj Yousif district in northeastern Khartoum, told AFP on Sunday he “saw fighter jets flying above our heads and heard the sounds of explosions and anti-aircraft” fire.
- Since fighting erupted in Khartoum, the UNHCR has registered more than 30,000 people crossing into South Sudan, more than 90 percent of whom are South Sudanese. The true number is likely much higher, it says.
- In Egypt, at least 64,000 people have crossed into the country, already home to an estimated 4 million Sudanese.
- Thousands have also crossed into neighbouring Ethiopia, mostly third-country nationals. More than 100,000 people have fled Sudan so far.
- At least 700 people have been killed in the fighting, which quickly spread beyond Khartoum to Darfur and elsewhere, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. The Sudanese Doctors’ Union said 479 of the dead were civilians.
- Saudi Arabia will allocate $100m in humanitarian aid to Sudan, Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya television said on Sunday.
- Meanwhile, a Saudi diplomat told AFP on Monday that the ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia have yielded “no major progress” so far.
- Western powers have backed the transition to a civilian government in a country that sits at a strategic crossroads between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and the volatile Sahel region.
- But heavyweights in the pan-Arab bloc are divided on Sudan. Egypt solidly supports the regular army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, while the UAE favours the paramilitary RSF, according to experts.