World News

Blinken and Saudi foreign minister affirm commitment to end Sudan conflict

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed a shared commitment to end the conflict in Sudan and meet humanitarian needs during a call on Friday, the State Department said.

Fighting that broke out on April 15 has driven civilians out of the wider capital region – consisting of the cities of Khartoum, Bahri, and Omdurman – and triggered ethnically motivated attacks in the Darfur region. Regional and international mediation efforts have so far failed to end the fighting.

Sudanese human rights organisations had evidence the Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) had detained more than 5 000 people in the capital and were keeping them in inhumane conditions, the group told Reuters on Friday.

The RSF has been fighting the Sudanese army for three months, having dominated the Sudanese capital on the ground. Residents have accused the force of looting and occupying homes When asked for comment, the RSF said the reports were incorrect, and that it only held prisoners of war who were well-treated.

“These organisations are ignoring violations by the army against civilians including air and artillery strikes, detentions, and arming of civilians,” a representative for the force said.

Among those detained in several locations across Khartoum were combatants, but also 3 500 civilians including vulnerable women and foreign nationals, said the organisations, who asked to have their names withheld for fear of retribution.

The group said they would present to the United Nations documentation of cases of death by torture, as well as “degrading, inhumane conditions of detention devoid of human dignity and the most basic necessities of life.”

The UN human rights office said on Thursday at least 87 people had been buried in a mass grave in the Darfur city of El Geneina, accusing the RSF and allied militias of the killings, which the paramilitary force denied.

Late on Thursday, the International Criminal Court said it would investigate killings across the region. The RSF did not respond to a request for comment on the investigation.

Source: eNCA

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