Sudan The army sends negotiators to Jeddah to discuss a Saudi-American sponsored truce Sudan The army sends negotiators to Jeddah to discuss a Saudi-American sponsored truce

Sudan The army sends negotiators to Jeddah to discuss a Saudi-American sponsored truce

Sudan The army sends negotiators to Jeddah to discuss a Saudi-American sponsored truce

The Sudanese army said in a statement that it had sent negotiators to the city of Jeddah to discuss a cease-fire within the framework of the Saudi-American initiative, while there has been no official reaction yet from the Rapid Support Forces.

On Friday evening, the Sudanese army announced that it had sent negotiators to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to hold talks on a ceasefire.

The army said in a statement posted on its Facebook page, "Within the framework of the Saudi-American initiative that was put forward since the beginning of the crisis, a delegation of the Sudanese armed forces left to Jeddah this evening (Friday) to discuss the details of the truce that is being renewed."

No official reaction has been issued yet by the Rapid Support Forces.

For its part, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his American counterpart Anthony Blinken discussed, in a phone call, the developments of a joint initiative to host the two sides of the Sudanese conflict in the city of Jeddah in the Kingdom.

The statement indicated that the joint initiative aims to "reduce the level of tensions" in Sudan.

Earlier Friday, the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan announced its acceptance of extending the humanitarian truce for a period of 72 hours in response to US-Saudi mediation.

On Wednesday, the Sudanese army announced its approval of an initiative by the Government Authority for Development (IGAD) to extend the truce for a week, but Rapid Support did not announce its acceptance and did not refer to it in its latest statement.

The "Rapid Support" statement said, "In response to US-Saudi mediation, we announce the extension of the truce to an additional 72 hours, in order to open humanitarian corridors and facilitate the movement of citizens and residents and enable them to fulfill their needs and reach safe areas."

He added, "We welcome the local, regional and international initiatives, and thank the African Union, IGAD, the Emirates, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan, and all countries seeking to find a solution to the current situation in our country."

The statement called on the army to "commit to the declared humanitarian truce, and to stop attacking the Rapid Support Forces."

And at midnight Sunday / Monday, a new truce entered into force for a period of 72 hours, which ended at midnight Thursday / Friday, before it was announced that it would be extended.

For its part, the Sudanese army confirmed "calm conditions in all parts of Sudan, except for parts of Khartoum and the city of El-Obeid in North Kordofan state (south)."

He added, "The rebels continued to violate the declared truce by attacking the Bahri military area, north of Khartoum, and they were defeated."

Provide international protection for victims of conflict

For its part, the United Nations called on Friday to provide international protection for the victims of the conflict and the changing conditions in Sudan, whether they were Sudanese or refugees residing in Sudan, or even Sudanese asylum seekers in different countries.

This came in statements made by Elizabeth Tan, Director of the International Protection Program at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), during a press conference in Geneva.

Tan said countries should "stop any measures that threaten the safety of people fleeing conflict in Sudan, or policies that force them to return to their homes."

She pointed out the importance of continuing to consider requests for international protection submitted by Sudanese or refugees who were residing in Sudan in an "effective and fair" manner.

"We call on states to stop rejecting asylum applications from Sudanese or stateless persons and refugees who used to live in Sudan," she added.

She also stressed the need to limit any "forced deportations of Sudanese, even those whose asylum applications were rejected in some countries."

She explained that in the event that deportation decisions are issued for some Sudanese whose asylum applications were rejected in some countries, these decisions must remain "pending until the situation in Sudan improves in a way that allows the safe and dignified return of those who do not need international protection."

Tan also noted that Sudanese whose asylum applications were rejected prior to the outbreak of the current conflict "may require international protection depending on the changing circumstances in Sudan."

In this context, UNHCR expressed its deep concern about the plight of about 1.1 million refugees and asylum seekers of different nationalities who have been hosted in Sudan for years.

South Sudanese are the largest refugee group in Sudan, which also hosts large numbers of refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen.

Since April 15, states in Sudan have been witnessing widespread clashes between the army and the Rapid Support Forces, in which the two sides exchange accusations of being responsible for the outbreak, after forces belonging to each went to control centers belonging to the other.

The fighting claimed the lives of 550 people, including 448 civilians, and injured 4,926 people, in addition to the flight of tens of thousands of people from the areas of clashes, according to the United Nations, the Sudanese authorities, and the Sudan Doctors Committee (non-governmental).

The clashes also forced at least 100,000 people from Sudan, including citizens and refugees, according to United Nations estimates.

The "Quick Support" was established in 2013 to support government forces in their fight against the armed rebel movements in the Darfur region (west), and then assumed several tasks, including combating illegal immigration across borders and preserving the country's security.

Sudan: UNICEF warns of child victims of the conflict

Children are not spared from the war waged by the army and paramilitaries in Sudan. The United Nations announced on Friday that 7 of them were killed or injured every hour. According to the estimates of the health services of Khartoum and Darfur.

"From the beginning of the fighting on April 15 until April 25 - that is 11 days, including these two days - the reports we have received indicate that 190 children have been killed and 1,700 injured. If we break down those numbers over those 11 days, that means every hour seven boys or girls were killed or injured,” said UNICEF spokesperson James Elder .

Compiled mainly by health centers, these data are only the tip of the iceberg according to UNICEF.

"Again, this is just about children going to care centres. I think this underscores the enormity of the violence and the impact on children. And that's before you even take into counts the more than eight million people who have needed humanitarian assistance and whose health and water supply systems are now seriously damaged,'' explained the UNICEF spokesperson.

Khartoum was still torn apart by a hail of airstrikes and gunfire Friday on the 21st day of the war.

Sudan The army sends negotiators to Jeddah to discuss a Saudi-American sponsored truce

Organ trafficking: more than 9 years in prison for Ike Ekweremadu

He had brought a young man from Lagos to take a kidney from him and transplant it to his daughter: the influential Nigerian senator Ike Ekweremadu was sentenced on Friday to nine years and eight months in prison by a London court.

The 60-year-old elected official, his wife Beatrice and a doctor who acted as an intermediary were found guilty in March of having organized the trip to the United Kingdom of their victim, a 21-year-old street vendor from Lagos, for remove a kidney.

They were convicted under Britain's Modern Slavery Act , first used in an organ harvesting case. Mr. Ekweremadu's wife, 56, was sentenced to four years and six months in prison, while the doctor, Obinna Obeta , 51, received a 10-year sentence. All three faced life imprisonment.

"You all played a part in a despicable trade," Judge Jeremy Johnson said in delivering his decision, which the defendants accepted without showing emotion. "Trafficking in human organs is a form of slavery. It treats human beings and their body parts as materials that can be bought and sold ," he insisted.

The couple's daughter, Sonia, 25, has been cleared. Present in court on Friday, she waved to her parents as they were led out of the courtroom.

The case is closely followed in Nigeria, where - as the prosecution recalled at the start of the trial - the Ekweremadu family wields "power and influence" . Former vice-president of the Senate, Mr. Ekweremadu is still officially a member of Parliament, the new Senate elected at the beginning of the year having not yet taken office.

In this case, the defendants "used their political influence and power to control a young man who was vulnerable because of his economic situation" , Andy Furphy , the head of the modern slavery unit, told the press. and the exploitation of children in the London police.

"Modern slavery in the UK is very serious and the conviction reflects that ," he added, noting that the phenomenon has increased over the past five years.

Unlike the Ekweremadu couple, the victim is a disadvantaged young man, a street vendor in Lagos . According to the prosecution, he had been promised up to 7,000 pounds sterling (7,800 euros), together with the promise to work and stay in the United Kingdom.

During the trial, the young man said he thought he had been brought to the UK to work. He said he only realized once in front of British doctors that it was an organ transplant .

The kidney was to be transplanted to Sonia and the Ekweremadu family had asked the victim to pose as the cousin of the young woman. In the UK, it is legal to donate a kidney altruistically, especially for a loved one, but illegal to do so for a financial or material "reward" .

After understanding the real reason for his coming to England, the victim went to the police in May 2022 “looking for someone to (him) save his life” . The operation did not take place and the Ekweremadu couple had been arrested at Heathrow Airport in London in June.

Elected from a constituency in southeastern Nigeria for the People's Democratic Party (opposition), Ike Ekweremadu was unable to stand in the recent elections because he was in pre-trial detention, the prosecution having highlighted the risks of leak.

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