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UN-mediated talks eye cease-fires in Sudan

July 11, 2024

As Sudan's devastating 14-month war drags on, the UN is hoping talks could help ensure guns fall silent long enough for aid to be delivered.

Refugees from war-torn Sudan hold a sit-in seeking support in front of the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices in Tripoli,
The war has created the world's largest displacement crisis with over 11 million people forced to flee their homeImage: MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

Sudan's warring sides held indirect talks in Geneva on Thursday about protecting civilians and ensuring humanitarian aid delivery.

The United Nations, which is mediating the talks with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), said negotiators hoped to secure "potential local cease-fires."

The sides are not negotiating directly, but rather holding "proximity talks," the UN said.

Fighting in Sudan between the army and paramilitaries has been ongoing for over a year.

Sudan faces famine and major humanitarian crises

The bloody conflict has killed more than 14,000 people and wounded 33,000, according to UN estimates.

Around 25 million people — more than half the population — need aid, and nearly 18 million face acute food insecurity.

"The discussions seek to identify avenues for the advancement of the identified humanitarian and protection of civilian measures through possible local ceasefires, as requested by the Security Council," UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci said.

Sudan civil war displaces millions

Previous talks 'broke down'

Previously, talks sponsored by the United States and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between the army and RSF broke down at the end of last year.

US Special Envoy Tom Perriello joined the Geneva talks to find ways to alleviate Sudan's humanitarian crisis and bring the warring parties together, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CBS News.

Reports of widespread rape and killing in Sudan's Darfur

sp/lo (AP, Reuters)