The Chief of Staff of the Sudanese Army. General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan. denied seeking external support during a recent regional tour. emphasizing his preference for a peaceful solution to the crisis in his country.
In an interview with Reuters. al-Burhan stated that he had requested neighboring countries to stop sending mercenaries to support the Rapid Support Forces. which have been engaged in a fierce conflict with the military following a dispute over their integration into the military institution.
Conflict erupted between the army .and the Rapid Support Forces in mid-April, leading to a worsening humanitarian and economic crisis. resulting in thousands of deaths .and the displacement of millions.
On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York, al-Burhan said, “Every war ends with peace. either through negotiations or by force. and we are pursuing both paths. Our preferred path is negotiations. and there is the Jeddah track. and we are optimistic that we may achieve a positive outcome.”
The city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. hosted Sudanese factions for negotiations. but they only resulted in fragile ceasefires that quickly collapsed.
Al-Burhan conducted a series of foreign visits in recent weeks after staying in Sudan during the early months of the conflict as fighting escalated.
He clarified that the purpose of these visits was to explore solutions. not to seek military support. However, he did request that other countries stop providing external support to the Rapid Support Forces.
The Rapid Support Forces deny receiving external support and blame the army for escalating the situation in the country.
Al-Burhan stated. “We asked our neighbors to help us monitor the borders to stop the flow of mercenaries. Many foreign fighters are in these forces; they come from all neighboring countries, and they will pose a future threat to the Sudanese state .and regional countries.”
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of the Rapid Support Forces. known as Hemedti, stated in a video message published on Thursday. coinciding with al-Burhan‘s speech at the United Nations General Assembly. that he is ready for a ceasefire and political talks.
Previous statements by both sides about their desire for peace .and willingness to cease hostilities have not resulted in successful outcomes.
Al-Burhan denies accusations directed at the army .and describes them as propaganda from its competitors. The Rapid Support Forces also deny responsibility for acts of violence in Darfur and pledge to hold their members accountable for any violations.
Violence peaked following the assassination of the West Darfur governor on June 14th. Al-Burhan stated that he had asked the governor to seek refuge with the army. but he refused.
He added, “The armed forces in Genaina are not sufficient in number for deployment in every area.”