War in Sudan

African mediators claim progress in efforts to end Sudan’s war

African mediators claim progress in efforts to end Sudan’s war
Smoke rises above buildings during ongoing skirmish between Sudanese army and paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum, Sudan, 18 April 2023. A power struggle erupted 15 April between the Sudanese army led by army Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, resulting in at least 200 deaths according to doctors' association in Sudan. The RSF on 18 April said it approved a 24-hour ceasefire to allow evacuation of the wounded, however the Sudanese army did not confirm the deal. EPA-EFE/STRINGER

CAIRO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - An African regional body involved in efforts to mediate over the war in Sudan says it has secured a commitment from warring parties to implement a ceasefire and to hold a political dialogue aimed at resolving the conflict.

There was no immediate comment from Sudan’s army or the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which has been locked since mid-April in a conflict that has devastated the capital Khartoum and triggered waves of ethnic killings in Darfur despite several diplomatic efforts to halt the fighting.

Eyewitnesses reported blasts at the major Al-Jaili oil refinery on the outskirts of Khartoum on Sunday, while both sides said there had been casualties when a Red Cross convoy came under fire in the capital.

At talks on Saturday in Djibouti, the current chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, agreed to a one-on-one meeting with RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, an IGAD statement said.

In a phone call, Dagalo, widely known as Hemedti, also agreed to the ceasefire proposal and a meeting with Burhan, the statement said.

Both Hemedti and Burhan had “accepted the principle of meeting within 15 days in order to pave the way for a series of confidence-building measures between the two parties that lead to the launch of a political process,” said Alexis Mohammed, adviser to Djibouti’s president.

Earlier, in an address the Djibouti meeting, Burhan accused the RSF of “barbaric attacks” but said the army had not closed the door on finding a peaceful solution.

Hemedti, whose whereabouts are unknown, addressed the IGAD meeting remotely, blaming the outbreak of the war on loyalists of former president Omar al-Bashir who are powerful within the army. He called for reform of the army and the formation of a civilian government.

The war between the army and the RSF erupted over an internationally backed plan to merge the paramilitary force into the army and launch a transition towards elections.

The army and the RSF had shared power after Bashir was toppled during a popular uprising in 2019. Before they came to blows, they jointly staged a coup in 2021 that upended efforts to steer Sudan towards democracy.

On Friday, the United States said it had formally determined that both sides in the conflict had committed war crimes.

In response, the RSF issued a statement on Sunday denying that it had carried out ethnic cleansing in Darfur or was responsible for sexual violence. The army has also denied committing war crimes.

Indirect talks between the army and the RSF brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States that have stumbled several times faltered again last week as both sides pressed on with their military campaigns.

(Reporting by Giulia Paravicini in Nairobi and Khalid Abdelaziz in Dubai; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Nick Macfie and Ros Russell)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.