Sudan’s warring forces talk peace in Saudi Arabia
Jeddah: Representatives of the warring Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces started direct pre-negotiation talks in Saudi Arabia’s capital city Jeddah today.
Welcoming the talks, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America urged both warring forces to take into consideration the interests of the Sudanese nation and its people and actively engage in the talks towards a cease-fire and end to the conflict, “which will spare the Sudanese people’s suffering and ensure the availability of humanitarian aid to affected areas”.
Both Saudi Arabia and the US stressed the efforts of the countries and organizations which supported these talks, including Quad countries (The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States), the League of Arab States, and partners from the Trilateral Mechanism (UNITAMS, the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development).
In a joint statement on Sudan, both Jeddhan and Washington urged continued, coordinated international support for an expanded negotiation process that should include engagement with all Sudanese parties.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) projected that the number of acutely food insecure people in Sudan will increase by between 2 and 2.5 million people — that raises the number to a total of 19 million people — in the next three to six months if the current conflict continues.
The states expected to see the highest food insecurity in the coming months are West Darfur, West Kordofan, Blue Nile, Red Sea, and North Darfur. For its part, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and partners have announced that US $445 million will be needed to support an estimated outflow of 860,000 refugees and returnees from Sudan in five countries affected by the emergency. UNHCR has launched a data portal that will update new numbers daily of refugee and returnee arrivals in neighbouring countries. The agency urged states to keep their borders open to those fleeing the violence and urged all countries to allow civilians fleeing Sudan non-discriminatory access to their territories and to suspend forced returns to Sudan, including of people who had previously had their asylum claims rejected.
Earlier yesterday, the UAE and the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered 30 tons of urgent medical supplies valued at US$ 444 000, to Sudan. A plane carrying supplies for injury treatment, emergency surgeries, and essential drugs arrived at Port Sudan Airport early yesterday morning. The shipment is the first that WHO has been able to deliver by air to Sudan since the outbreak of the conflict.
Meanwhile, in the midnight hours of May 3-4, 2023, an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft airborne from Hindon, flew through the night to land in the early morning hours at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The aircraft refuelled at Jeddah to undertake a nonstop flight from Jeddah, via war-torn Sudan and back to India. The aircraft took excess fuel from Jeddah to avoid a situation of non-availability of fuel and refuelling delays in Sudan. The mission was one of a kind, with the aircraft carrying 192 passengers, mostly ladies, children and elderly persons, who either were NRIs, foreign nationals or OCIs (Overseas Citizens of India). These people could not be taken to Jeddah and hence were required to be flown directly to India in a nonstop flight by the heavy jet.
At Sudan, the aircraft carried out an overhead steep tactical arrival followed by an assault approach to land the heavy jet. During the entire duration of the ground operations, the aircraft engines were kept running in readiness for a quick exit from the airfield, in case of such a need arose.
The crew encountered another unplanned emergency when one of the passengers became unconscious during the flight. This situation was immediately and proficiently handled by the crew who administered 100% Oxygen to stabilise him.
The aircraft landed at Ahmedabad late in the evening on May 4, 2023, late in the evening and then at the home base of Hindan late in the night on the same day. The crew thus flew through extended duty periods of nearly 24 ourrs to get some of the last stranded countrymen back to India, the Indian Ministry of Defence stated today.
– global bihari bureau