Al-Burhan declares his rejection of external mediation to stop the war in Sudan 

Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan, the head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council and the commander of the Sudanese army, affirmed that ‘any external solution to the ongoing conflict in the country will not endure,’ rendering discussions about the ongoing negotiations in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, futile.

Observers suggest that Al-Burhan‘s statements, rejecting external mediation, to officers and soldiers do not extend beyond being statements for local consumption and are not to be taken seriously. Simultaneously, others view Al-Burhan‘s rejection of all previous initiatives as indicative of his belief that only war can defeat the Rapid Support Forces, without considering the balance of power on the ground.

What are the real reasons behind Al-Burhan‘s rejection of all external mediations and initiatives to resolve the Sudanese crisis? To begin with, Sudanese writer and political analyst Osman Mirghani says, ‘Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan‘s statements rejecting external mediation to resolve the conflict that the country has been experiencing for over 8 months contradict his actions in the past.’

Contradictory Statements 

He added, ‘Al-Burhan himself sought, during the past period, an initiative from the “IGAD” organization, and visited member states in the region and requested the convening of a summit meeting, all of which confirms that he pursued the IGAD initiative, then proceeded to completely freeze Sudan’s membership in the organization.’

Mirghani continued: ‘There is a kind of contradiction between Al-Burhan‘s actions and his statements, but I believe that such statements are usually made in military areas, where the speech is more for those present before him than addressing facts, realities, or the regional and international community.’

The political analyst pointed out that ‘in his recent speech, Al-Burhan used passionate language rejecting initiatives, reconciliation, and peaceful settlements, rather than a strategic and practical discourse that can be relied upon. At the same time, there was a meeting between his deputy directly and the deputy commander of the Rapid Support Forces in Bahrain one day before those statements.’ 

Manama Negotiations 

Regarding the developments in the Sudanese scene on the ground after the escalatory speech by Al-Burhan, Osman Mirghani says: ‘What is happening now for the first time since the outbreak of fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces is direct talks in Manama under the auspices of four Arab countries in addition to the United States, and according to the information, these talks are making tangible progress albeit with some points of disagreement. I see that the undisclosed negotiation track in Manama is the closest to reaching an agreement, and it is better to have a Sudanese internal settlement between the political and military parties together.’

Mirghani explained that ‘the choice of Bahrain for negotiations between the army and the Rapid Support Forces may have been agreed upon by the three Arab countries (Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia) because it is not possible to return to the Jeddah platform, but what was required was to launch a new track, given its neutrality and its standing at an equal distance from all Sudanese parties internally, a place that everyone can accept and agree on without sensitivities.’

The political analyst also noted that ‘recent times have witnessed a lot of bickering between Al-Burhan and Hemeti, and the exchange of many harsh words that may not allow them to negotiate in a suitable manner to reach an agreement. Therefore, I believe that reaching a compromise or negotiation between the deputies of the two men may be the best and closest option, and then if an agreement is reached at the summit level, Al-Burhan and Hemeti can sign it.’

Balance of Power 

The political analyst, Osman Mirghani, concluded his statements by saying, ‘The balance of power on the ground has clearly shifted in favor of the army, as the army that was defending for months is now the one attacking, and it has managed to regain many important and governing areas that the Rapid Support Forces had control over in the capital. These developments may encourage Al-Burhan to speak more forcefully and attempt to raise the ceiling of demands and conditions he enters into for a peace agreement.’

The War Option 

On his part, Sudanese political analyst Yakoub Al-Bashir says, ‘General Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan, the commander of the Sudanese army, is rejecting all initiatives whether on the level of Arab, regional, or African countries, meaning that Al-Burhan‘s choice today is the option of war, and the main point he is based on or works to achieve is the defeat of the Rapid Support Forces according to his perception.’

He added in his statement that ‘Al-Burhan‘s ambition is not based on the reality on the ground and the imbalance of power in favor of the Rapid Support Forces. Also, the army commander does not take into consideration the suffering of the Sudanese people due to this accursed war.’

Al-Bashir emphasized that ‘Al-Burhan‘s recent statements rejecting external mediation to resolve the crisis, made in one of the army camps, cannot be considered unintentional or for local consumption, as the option presented to Al-Burhan is the war option to defeat the Rapid Support Forces according to his perception.’

The political analyst explained that ‘the ongoing negotiations in Bahrain (Manama) will not succeed and will follow in the footsteps of the Jeddah and IGAD initiatives. The evidence that this will happen is Al-Burhan‘s recent statements rejecting external mediation despite his participation in them.’

The head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council and the commander of the Sudanese army, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, confirmed that ‘any external solution to the ongoing conflict in the country will not endure.’

Al-Burhan, in a speech before officers and enlisted personnel, stated that ‘no party can impose any measures on Sudan,’ adding that ‘the council does not engage with any mediators, whether in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, or in the Egyptian capital, Cairo,’ according to the Sudanese news agency (SUNA).

He continued: ‘From our perspective, the IGAD organization (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) is not concerned with Sudanese affairs,’ pledging to ‘pursue the rebel leader (Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo) and hold him accountable,’ holding him ‘responsible for all the theft, looting, killing, and rape committed by his forces.’

A member of the advisory office of the Rapid Support Forces commander, Issa Al-Quni, said earlier yesterday, in statements to the “Arab World” news agency, that ‘Army Commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan told these people there is no peace with them,’ adding that ‘these statements indicate that the war is ongoing and will not stop.’

He added: ‘We see a bleak future for Sudan with these criminals. But we are capable of eliminating them and will not leave any one of them unless they incline towards peace,’ stressing that ‘the Rapid Support Forces relied on the negotiations held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to reach a peaceful solution to the Sudanese crisis.’

He continued: ‘The army always tries to create crises on top of crises. And there is no solution with these people? The only solution is the military one, as they do not know peace, and they do not want peace. Moreover, they are the ones who ignited this war.’

For more than 10 months now, violent and widespread clashes have been ongoing between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in various parts of Sudan, mostly concentrated in the capital, Khartoum, leaving hundreds of civilians dead and wounded.

Differences between the head of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council and the commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, surfaced publicly after the signing of the “Framework Agreement” establishing the transitional period between the military component and the civilian component last December, which acknowledged the army’s withdrawal from politics and the transfer of power to civilians.

Dagalo accused the Sudanese army of planning to remain in power and not handing over power to civilians after the army demanded the integration of the Rapid Support Forces under the umbrella of the armed forces, while the army considered the movements of the Rapid Support Forces a rebellion against the state.

Arab, African, and international parties mediated to cease hostilities. However, these mediations have not succeeded in achieving a permanent ceasefire.

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