Sudan’s RSF open to negotiate an immediate ceasefire with the army: Chief

Sherry El-Gergawi, Wednesday 3 Jan 2024

Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) signed on Tuesday the so-called Addis Ababa Declaration with the Taqadum civilian coalition.

Hamdok and Hemetti
A snap shot of Hamdok and Hemetti shake hands after signing Addis Ababa agreement on January 2, 2023. Photo courtesy of Hemetti twitter.


RSF Chief Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is known as Hemedti, and Taqadum coalition leader and former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said that the declaration signed between them will serve as the basis for further negotiations and a political settlement for the nine-month war in Sudan.

After the signing, Dagalo said that RSF is open to an immediate, unconditional ceasefire through talks with the Sudanese Army.

"If the army came with this same document I would sign it immediately," Dagalo added.

The declaration included commitments to return millions of displaced people to their homes, create safe passages, and include civilians in peace talks.

Additionally, emphasis was placed on the need for a comprehensive political vision to end the war and stabilize the Sudanese state, including the restructuring of the armed forces.

The RSF agreed to Taqadum’s request that they release around 451 prisoners of war through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

It also has a pledge to facilitate the passage of humanitarian assistance to the areas under their control.

Rasha Awad, speaking for the Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces, highlighted the agreement to form fact-finding committees to investigate human rights violations and develop strategies to protect civilians.

"We invited the leadership of the armed forces. We expect we hope they will respond to our invitation positively," Hamdok said.

It was not immediately clear whether the army, much of which is hostile to Sudan's pro-democracy movement and accuses it of being allied with the RSF, would welcome the declaration.

The war in Sudan, which began in April 2023, has displaced more than seven million people from their homes, devastated the country's infrastructure, and prompted warnings of famine

According to the UN, more than 12,000 civilians have been killed and wounded, while hundreds of thousands of families have been uprooted, both within the country and across borders to neighbouring countries like Egypt, Chad, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

In his Independence Day address on Monday, Sudanese Army General Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan denounced violence by the RSF against the Sudanese people and described its actions as “assassinating civilians, plundering their possessions, occupying their homes, violating their dignity, displacing them, and committing ethnic cleansing.”

Al-Burhan addressed for the first time foreign support to the RSF, urging nations providing such aid to cease interfering in Sudan’s affairs.

“I urge nations harbouring these murderers to refrain from meddling in our affairs. Any hospitality extended to the leadership of this rebel group constitutes complicity in their crimes and collaboration in the killing and destruction of the Sudanese people.”

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