Exclusive: Sudanese opposition leaders reveal preparations for Burhan-Dagalo meeting in Saudi Arabia

Samar Al-Gamal , Monday 24 Apr 2023

Preparations are underway for a meeting between the Sudanese army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the chief of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, in Saudi Arabia, opposition leaders in Sudan revealed to Ahram Online on Monday.

Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and Abdel Fattah al-Burhan
Combined images of ( From L to R)the chief of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and Sudanese army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan


Orwa Al-Sadeq, a member of the Sudanese Umma Party, stated that there are "specific proposals for the meeting, but we are waiting for final approval from all parties before announcing the details".

Al-Sadeq explained in a phone call from Khartoum that "the priority is to stop the fighting and facilitate humanitarian efforts, and then open the door for dialogue between the two men.” 

"The meeting is expected to take place in Saudi Arabia as it has good relations with both leaders," he added.

Nevertheless, Al-Sadeq warned that the conflict may last indefinitely in case one of the two men insisted on defeating the other.

Shihab Ibrahim, a spokesperson of the Forces of Freedom and Change, confirmed in a phone call from Khartoum the ongoing arrangements for the meeting.

"The parties calling for this meeting have obtained preliminary approval, and the response from both sides will be given hopefully by Tuesday at the latest", he said.

According to Ibrahim, the plan, which was presented by the civilian forces, "calls for a ceasefire followed by a monitoring mechanism, then military negotiations between Burhan and Hemedti".

He also noted that the situation has been relatively calm as a result of the exhaustion of both parties and that such calm paves the way for the meeting.

Ibrahim, however, concluded by saying that apparently "both parties are trying to win some ground operations to improve their negotiating position."

Achieving a ceasefire

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that the United States is discussing with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt a ceasefire in Sudan, according to Al-Arabiya TV channel.

Meanwhile, an American official reported that representatives of the US, the African and European Union, and the foreign ministries of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt are currently in contact with one another to begin mediation efforts.

While the American official refused to provide details of the proposed political settlement plan, he emphasised that a complete ceasefire is a crucial component.

The initiative's date and specifics are expected to be announced later by Saudi Arabia.

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