Sisi expresses concern about regional impact of fighting in Sudan

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 May 2023

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has expressed concern over the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan, warning that it could have far-reaching implications for the region.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi meets with Japan s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidency)


“The entire region could be affected. We are making our best effort to bring about discussions between the military and the RSF,” El-Sisi said in a 70-minute interview with the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, published on Monday.

The violence has already claimed hundreds of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

El-Sisi stressed that “[Egypt] will not interfere in the domestic politics of other nations because we do not want to further complicate the situation.”

Instead, Egypt would work towards “the creation of a transitional government until elections can be held and a civilian government inaugurated,” he clarified

He also expressed a willingness to work with Japan, as it is hosting this year’s Group of Seven (G7) summit, to implement a cease-fire in Sudan and help the country transition to a civilian government.

“Since Japan is a G7 member, our efforts should be toward those goals,” El-Sisi said.

During a press conference on Sunday with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Cairo, El-Sisi highlighted that Egypt's vision for the crisis in Sudan revolves around achieving an immediate, permanent and comprehensive ceasefire while at the same time rejecting any external intervention in Sudan's affairs.

As the current chair of the G7 and a member of the UN Security Council, Japan plans to address the crisis in Sudan, said the Japanese premier.

Therefore, Japan is planning to dispatch its envoy for the Horn of Africa to relevant countries, including Egypt, in the near future, Kishida added.

Regarding concerns about the increasing number of refugees from Sudan, El-Sisi stated in the interview that "there are already millions of Sudanese in Egypt, but they are guests, not refugees."

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimated in August last year that the number of migrants and host community members in Egypt at 9 million from 133 countries comprised mostly of Sudanese (four million), Syrians (1.5 million), Yemenis (one million) and Libyans (one million), constituting 80 percent of the total.

“There are between eight and nine million guests from Libya, Syria, Yemen and other African nations [in Egypt]. Amid the economic difficulties stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many Sudanese have fled, so Egypt is also facing problems. We are already experiencing high inflation, and the prices of daily necessities are surging,” El-Sisi explained.

El-Sisi also noted that the global economic difficulties brought about by the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, saying “If we were to accept even more Sudanese, Egypt will definitely feel the effects.”

He said Egypt and many other developing nations had been already affected economically by the Russian invasion through a food crisis and surging consumer prices.

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