Sudan’s army chief embarks on maiden foreign trip to Egypt amid ongoing conflict


Sudan’s army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, departed on Tuesday for Egypt, marking his first overseas trip since the conflict ignited with paramilitaries back in April. The nation’s ruling Sovereign Council confirmed this departure, stating that General Burhan is set to engage in discussions with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The talks are poised to address the latest developments within Sudan and the bilateral relations between the two nations.

Accompanying General Burhan are intelligence chief Ahmad Ibrahim Muffadal and interim foreign minister Ali al-Sadeq, according to the council’s announcement. This diplomatic visit comes amid an ongoing war between Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who now commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The conflict, which erupted on April 15, has extended from Khartoum and Darfur to Kordofan and Jazira state, causing widespread casualties and forcing millions to flee their homes.

After months of being under siege by the RSF at the military headquarters in Khartoum, General Burhan emerged from the compound last week to review troops in various parts of the strife-ridden nation. His appearance in the war-ravaged city of Port Sudan was marked by an impassioned address to troops, during which he pledged to combat the RSF, whom he referred to as “mercenaries,” in an effort to quell the rebellion.

Burhan’s statements followed a 10-point “vision” presented by Daglo, outlining a plan to halt the conflict and construct “a new state.” This plan underscores the pursuit of “civilian rule based on democratic norms” and the establishment of a “single, professional, national military institution” – a contentious matter that had driven a wedge between the once-allied leaders.

The toll of the conflict, as reported by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data project, indicates a loss of nearly 5,000 lives. However, this number is suspected to be significantly higher, with the United Nations estimating that over 4.6 million individuals have been displaced within and beyond Sudan due to the violence.

Despite various attempts at mediation, including initiatives by Saudi Arabia and the United States, efforts to bring an end to the conflict have fallen short. In July, Egypt, which shares borders with Sudan and has been grappling with an influx of refugees from its neighbor, hosted a crisis meeting attended by African leaders in an endeavor to find a resolution.

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