Sudanese army and RSF leaders to meet in Djibouti amid escalating conflict

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Dec 2023

Sudanese Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC) Chairperson and Army Commander General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan will meet with the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti," on 28 December in Djibouti, to address the ongoing conflict in Sudan, according to TSC sources.

Sudanese Army
Sudanese Army soldiers walk near tanks stationed on a street in southern Khartoum, amid ongoing fighting against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. Photo: AFP

 

A government delegation has headed to Djibouti to prepare for the meeting, facilitated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

The proposed meeting aims to bring an end to the conflict between the two leaders, who have been in a state of war since 15 April.

Al-Burhan agreed to the meeting on the condition of a ceasefire and the withdrawal of the RSF from residential areas, following the "Jeddah agreement." His willingness was communicated through the designated Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Al-Sadiq, who delivered a written message to the IGAD chairmanship, according to a senior Sudanese source.

While Al-Burhan hinted at the possibility of negotiations with the RSF in the past, he emphasized that any peace agreement should not humiliate the people and armed forces. The potential negotiations are expected to focus on specific points, including a ceasefire and the rapid exit of the RSF from civilians’ residential areas.

Amid these diplomatic efforts, the Sudanese army engaged in shelling RSF sites in central Khartoum and neighbouring areas on Tuesday. Witnesses reported heavy artillery exchanges in several areas of Khartoum, along with intermittent clashes between the army and the RSF on the border between the states of Gezira and Sennar in central Sudan.

Conflicting reports emerged regarding the feasibility of the proposed meeting, with a senior official from Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggesting that arrangements for the direct encounter are yet to be finalized.

However, sources close to the matter indicated that the Djibouti meeting is set to take place on 28 December, attributing the discrepancy to a lack of communication between the IGAD chairman and the Sudanese foreign ministry.

International and regional actors, including the United States, have intensified pressure on the warring parties to hold the meeting and initiate a political process to resolve the Sudanese crisis.

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