Sudan's Army Rejects US Call to Return to Peace Talks

War-torn Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan visits casualties receiving treatment at a hospital in the southeastern Gedaref state, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan on April 10, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
War-torn Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan visits casualties receiving treatment at a hospital in the southeastern Gedaref state, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan on April 10, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's Army Rejects US Call to Return to Peace Talks

War-torn Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan visits casualties receiving treatment at a hospital in the southeastern Gedaref state, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan on April 10, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
War-torn Sudan's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan visits casualties receiving treatment at a hospital in the southeastern Gedaref state, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan on April 10, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's army on Wednesday rejected a call to return to peace talks with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces following a conversation between General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Thousands of people have been killed and more than 9 million have fled their homes in the war between the army and RSF that erupted in April 2023 over a transition to free elections, said Reuters.
"We will not go to Jeddah (venue for talks in Saudi Arabia) and whoever wants us to should kill us in our country and take our bodies there," said Malik Agar, a former rebel leader and Burhan's number two on the country's Transitional Sovereign Council.
Intense fighting continued in northern areas of the capital Khartoum on Wednesday, with residents reporting heavy aerial bombing and artillery fire.
On Tuesday, the State Department said Blinken discussed with Burhan the need to end the war and to resume talks sponsored by the US and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, which have been stalled for months after failing to achieve a sustained ceasefire.
On Wednesday, Sudan's army-aligned foreign ministry welcomed an Egyptian invitation for a summit of civilian political groups, but placed conditions on the types of groups and foreign actors invited.
In his statement, Agar suggested that a separate summit for civilian political parties taking place in Addis Ababa was a distraction from the aim of ending the war.
The RSF has said previously it is open to talks, though neither side has abided by commitments made in prior rounds.
In Tuesday's call, Blinken also discussed the need to defuse hostilities in al-Fashir, the North Darfur capital where fighting has escalated since May 10, killing at least 145 people and displacing over 3,600 families, most of them this week, according to UN and Medecins Sans Frontieres aid group reports.
The RSF has surrounded al-Fashir and raided civilian neighborhoods, while the army, fighting to maintain its presence in its last stronghold in the Darfur region, has carried out costly air strikes in the area.
Residents say projectiles from either side have fallen and destroyed homes, while few people are able to reach hospitals and water and electricity services have been cut off.

 



US Military Targets Houthi Radar Sites in Yemen

In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
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US Military Targets Houthi Radar Sites in Yemen

In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), a Sea Viper missile is launched from HMS Diamond to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP)

The United States military unleashed a wave of attacks targeting radar sites operated by Yemen's Houthi militants over their assaults on shipping in the crucial Red Sea corridor, authorities said Saturday, after one merchant sailor went missing following an earlier Houthi strike on a ship.
The attacks come as the US Navy faces the most intense combat it has seen since World War II in trying to counter the Houthi campaign — attacks the militants say are meant to halt the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.
However, the Iranian-backed group assaults often see the Houthis target ships and sailors who have nothing to do with the war while traffic remains halved through a corridor vital for cargo and energy shipments between Asia, Europe and the Mideast.
US strikes destroyed seven radars within Houthi-controlled territory, the military's Central Command said. It did not elaborate on how the sites were destroyed and did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press.
“These radars allow the Houthis to target maritime vessels and endanger commercial shipping,” Central Command said in a statement.
The US separately destroyed two bomb-laden drone boats in the Red Sea, as well as a drone launched by the Houthis over the waterway, it said.
The Houthis, who have held Yemen's capital, Sanaa, since 2014, did not acknowledge the strikes, nor any military losses. That's been typical since the US began launching airstrikes targeting the group.
Meanwhile, Central Command said one commercial sailor from the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk cargo carrier Tutor remained missing after an attack Wednesday by the Houthis that used a bomb-carrying drone boat to strike the vessel.
“The crew abandoned ship and were rescued by USS Philippine Sea and partner forces,” Central Command said. The “Tutor remains in the Red Sea and is slowly taking on water.”
The Houthis have launched more than 50 attacks on shipping, killed three sailors, seized one vessel and sunk another since November, according to the US Maritime Administration.
The war in the Gaza Strip has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians there, according to Gaza health officials, while hundreds of others have been killed in Israeli operations in the West Bank. It began after Hamas-led militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostage.
“The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza and yet they are targeting and threatening the lives of third-country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza,” Central Command said. “The ongoing threat to international commerce caused by the Houthis in fact makes it harder to deliver badly needed assistance to the people of Yemen as well as Gaza.”