As the conflict in Sudan approaches its seventh month, the Sudan crisis takes a new turn with the adoption of a decision by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to establish an independent international mission to investigate the facts surrounding the “violations and crimes” that have accompanied the battles between the army and the Rapid Support Forces.
This comes in parallel with reports of a meeting between the Director of the Sudanese General Intelligence, General Ahmed Ibrahim Mufaddal, and the legal advisor of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Al-Mukhtar, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in recent days. During the meeting, they discussed the circumstances of the ongoing war in the country and ways to stop it, according to sources for the “Middle East” newspaper.
Since the outbreak of the fighting on April 15, both parties to the conflict have exchanged accusations of committing violations against civilians.
According to a statement by the United Nations on its website, the mission, as per the resolution, consists of three members experienced in international human rights law and international humanitarian law, to be appointed as soon as possible by the President of the Human Rights Council for an initial period of one year.
Among other things, the international mission has been tasked with “investigating and establishing the facts, circumstances, and root causes of all allegations of human rights violations, abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law – including those committed against refugees – and related crimes in the context of the ongoing armed conflict that began on April 15, 2023, between the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces, as well as other warring parties.”
Its duties also include “identifying, wherever possible, the individuals and entities responsible for the violations or other related crimes in Sudan, with the aim of ensuring accountability.”
The resolution calls on the parties to the conflict to “fully cooperate with the fact-finding mission in performing its work,” and it calls on the international community to provide full support to the mission in carrying out its mandate.
Meeting in Addis Ababa
Regarding what transpired in Addis Ababa, the newspaper quoted sources as saying that a serious discussion took place between the two men about the situation in the country and the impacts of the ongoing war, as well as the dire consequences that the current conflicts could have on the security and safety of the entire nation.
According to the sources, “There is division within the leadership of the Sudanese army regarding what is happening in the country,” confirming that “the army has been involved in the war by the Islamic Movement (Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood) through influencing influential military leaders.”
The newspaper pointed out that “General Mufaddal conveyed to Legal Advisor Al-Mukhtar the serious desire of leaders in the Sudanese army to open communication channels with the Rapid Support Forces, with the aim of ending the ongoing war in the country since mid-April of the previous year.”
As of 12:30 GMT, neither party has provided any information about the meeting, but there is a statement circulating on social media attributed to Sudanese intelligence that denies the occurrence of the meeting.