The leader of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces has said he is open to a long-term ceasefire as he presented an initiative that could revive direct talks between his paramilitary force and the army.
Under his “Sudan Reborn” plan, Gen Mohamed Dagalo committed the RSF to previously floated principles such as federal and multicultural rule, democratic elections and a single army.
The statement came as fighting between the RSF and the army enters its 20th week, with no side claiming victory.
Millions of Sudanese have been driven from their homes in the capital and other cities.
The UN has warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions”, with rising hunger, a collapsed healthcare system and wrecked infrastructure.
The RSF and allied militias have also been accused of ethnic cleansing in West Darfur.
The two sides blame each other for starting the war on April 15, after weeks of tension over the integration of their troops into a single force as part of a transition to democracy.
The army and the RSF led the country together after Omar Al Bashir was toppled in 2019, and they pushed civilian politicians out of government during a coup in 2021.
Gen Dagalo appeared willing to negotiate with the army over the shape of the future Sudanese state, going beyond the technicalities of a permanent ceasefire that have hindered mediation efforts led by Saudi Arabia and the US.
“Efforts to end the protracted crisis must be directed toward achieving a lasting ceasefire, coupled with comprehensive political solutions that address the root causes of Sudan's wars,” an RSF statement said on Sunday.
The statement came after army chief Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan arrived in Port Sudan on Sunday, three days after he left the capital for the first time since fighting broke out.
Government sources said he might travel to Saudi Arabia and Egypt for talks.
Pro-democracy politicians warned Gen Al Burhan against announcing a new government, saying it would prompt the RSF to form a parallel authority.
Regional mediators have appeared to accept a future role for soldiers in a transitional government.
However, the ambassador of the US, one of the main sponsors of the post-Al Bashir transition, wrote on X on Friday that “the belligerents, who have demonstrated they are not fit to govern, must end the conflict and transfer power to a civilian transitional government”.