Hemedti advisor, top envoy says 'time for peace' in Sudan, Darfur

AFP , Tuesday 25 Jul 2023

A top envoy to Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on Monday said it was "time for peace" in Sudan and the Darfur region even as RSF's war with Sudan's regular army passed its 100th day.

RSF representative and Hemedti s political advisor, Youssef Ezzat. Photo courtesy Juhainah Media Network


RSF representative Youssef Ezzat made his remarks in the West African nation of Togo where he was attending talks aimed at preventing Sudan's Darfur region from sliding deeper into war.

Sudan's conflict broke out in the capital Khartoum on April 15 and spread to Darfur, leaving at least 3,000 dead across Sudan and hundreds of thousands displaced.

The conflict has pitted army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against his former deputy and commander of the paramilitary RSF forces, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, known as "Hemedti".

"We are willing to participate in any kind of meeting for peace and bringing people together, and stop the war in Darfur and in Sudan," Ezzat told AFP on the sidelines of the talks in Lome.

"So this is the time to end the war, to start a new future for Sudanese people, peace, development, equality. That's what we are looking for and I think it's time for peace in Sudan."

The vast western region of Darfur, which in the early 2000s already suffered a bloody war, has been hit by some of the worst violence in the new conflict.

Nouri Abdalla, from a key Darfur rebel faction, said the Togo talks aimed at creating a roadmap to stop violence in Darfur and beyond.

"It's now in a state of chaos but not in a full-fledged civil war. That's what we are trying to avert," he said.

"That is why we put a roadmap and an action plan, where we could follow through that and work with other community leaders, other leaders within Darfur, even in Sudan itself."

He said the Lome meeting had also discussed ways of reopening Darfur's El-Geneina airport under RSF control, to bring in humanitarian aid.

The Togo talks came after rights campaigners in Darfur blamed the RSF and allied Arab militias for reported atrocities in their stronghold there, including rape, looting and the mass killings of ethnic minorities.

The International Criminal Court has opened a new probe into alleged war crimes in Darfur, its chief prosecutor Karim Khan said earlier this month.

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