Sudan’s army leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has expressed his willingness to engage in discussions with Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a rebel group involved in a brutal internal conflict within the country.
This conflict has been ongoing since April, resulting in significant casualties and displacement.
The United Nations (UN) reports that more than 5,000 people have died in the conflict, and over five million have been displaced.
General Burhan, who came to power through a coup in 2021, made this statement during a rare interview following his address to the UN General Assembly in New York.
He is currently on a global diplomatic tour, seeking international support and legitimacy for his leadership, despite his failure to transition power to civilian authorities.
While the general denies allegations that his forces are targeting civilians, the UN and humanitarian organizations assert that there is evidence of indiscriminate airstrikes on residential areas.
General Fattah al-Burhan expressed confidence in achieving victory but admitted that the fighting had forced him to relocate his headquarters to Port Sudan due to the insecurity in Khartoum.
He expressed his readiness to engage in negotiations with General Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, on the condition that both parties adhere to commitments made during talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in May.
These commitments revolve around protecting civilians and resolving the ongoing conflict peacefully.
General Burhan dismissed the notion that Sudan could become a failed state like Somalia or a divided nation like Libya, asserting that Sudan would remain united and that the Sudanese people were united in their desire to end the mutiny, either through peaceful means or combat.
The UN has noted that neither side in the conflict appears close to achieving a decisive military victory.
While General Burhan expressed confidence in defeating the RSF, he acknowledged the challenges in Khartoum, which has become a war zone, hampering the functioning of diplomatic missions and government institutions.
Reports of civilian casualties resulting from airstrikes in residential areas have raised concerns, but General Burhan denied any deliberate targeting of civilians, attributing such claims to fabricated stories by rebel forces.
He emphasized the precision of his forces in selecting targets.
Efforts to reach a ceasefire and political settlement have been discussed previously, but they have not led to a reduction in hostilities in the conflict.
The situation in Sudan remains complex, with ongoing violence and diplomatic efforts to find a resolution.