KHARTOUM – July 17, 2023
The leadership of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) seems open to mediation initiatives. SAF Commander-in-Chief Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan praised the Saudi Arabia-USA-led mediation efforts in Jeddah and Deputy Commander-in-Chief Lt Gen Shamseldin Kabbashi said that the army is open to ‘any serious initiative’ to stop the war.
El Burhan thanked the governments of Saudi Arabia and the USA for facilitating the negotiation process in the Saudi city of Jeddah and highlighted the importance of the initiative.
Kabbashi told Al Jazeera TV channel on Saturday that the army is “open to any serious initiative to stop the war that guarantees the preservation of national sovereignty”.
He supports a comprehensive political dialogue and noted that the Saudi-American initiative is “advanced”.
The dialogue should lead to the formation of a civilian government to lead the transitional period and prepare for elections.
“The conspiracy against the country is great” and the armed forces are carrying out their constitutional duty, Kabbashi said.
On Saturday, Sudanese government sources reported that government representatives had arrived in Saudi Arabia to resume talks with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
These developments followed a Saudi-US statement, in which the two countries pledged their shared commitment to ending the conflict in Sudan.
In a summit in Egyptian capital Cairo last week, seven of Sudan’s neighbouring countries also agreed on ‘mechanism’ to end the war.
In a visit to Nairobi, Kenya, Egyptian President Abdelfattah El Sisi stated that the summit complements other regional efforts aimed at ending the conflict and moving to peaceful dialogue.
Within Sudan, Kabbashi statements were welcomed. Maj Gen (Retd) Fadlallah Burma, interim head of the National Umma Party (NUP), praised Kabbashi’s statements as “positive” on Sunday.
He called on the commanders of the warring SAF and RSF to immediately turn to the negotiating table in Jeddah to reach a comprehensive ceasefire and end the war.
NUP Secretary-General El Wasig El Bereir said in a post on Twitter yesterday that Kabbashi’s statements are “a courageous position that contributes to restoring stability in the country”.
‘A courageous position that contributes to restoring stability in the country’
El Wasig El Bereir (NUP)
The head of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), Omar El Degeir, also welcomed Kabbashi’s statements and called for an immediate cessation of the war.
Khaled Omar Yousef, another leading member of the SCP and official spokesperson of the political process that saw the signing of the Framework Agreement, said in a post on Twitter that he welcomed Kabbashi’s statements and considered them an important step towards stopping the war.
He expressed his hope that negotiations will resume through the Jeddah platform soon and that Sudanese, international, and regional efforts will be coordinated in a unified negotiating platform.
Mohamed El Faki, former member of the Sovereignty Council and member of the Federal Assembly, said that the statements of General Kabbashi are a step in the right direction.
Mubarak El Fadiu, head of a NUP breakaway faction, commented that if El Burhan agrees to return to a truce after the losses it caused to the people, he will have failed the people.
He accused the Biden administration of “seeking to salvage what remains of the RSF” in a post on Twitter. He stressed that “there should be no negotiations with the RSF, except for their surrender”.
Journalist and political analyst Abdallah Rizig said that Gen Kabbashi and the RSF have an opportunity to promote a peaceful choice in practice through a ceasefire agreement.
The RSF should, as a first stage, withdraw to its positions before April 15 and the ceasefire should be properly monitored.
Both El Burhan and Hemedti, or their representatives, need to fully follow the roadmap that was agreed upon in the Jeddah platform. Rizig also stressed the need for an explicit declaration from the RSF not to seek to take power through war, as an affirmation of good faith.
On Saturday, the RSF formed a liaison committee with political and societal groups and rebel movements in the country.
The committee, set up by RSF Commander Mohamed ‘Hemedti’ Dagalo, is chaired by his adviser Yousef Ezzat and aims to hold “wide-ranging consultations to address the roots of the accumulated national crisis”.