Sudanese Armed Forces chief Al Burhan says 'no reconciliation' with RSF

War between the military and paramilitary group has displaced millions of people since April

Sudanese Armed Forces chief Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, centre, at a military airport in Port Sudan in August 2023. Reuters
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Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, the head of the Sudanese Armed Forces, ruled out any reconciliation or deal with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Friday after the head of the paramilitary group expressed openness to ending a war between them that has devastated the country.

RSF head Gen Mohamed Dagalo last week agreed to a ceasefire proposed by civilian groups, contingent on the military agreeing also. But observers responded sceptically in light of the paramilitary force's prior unfulfilled promises.

“The whole world witnessed these rebel forces committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in West Darfur and the rest of Sudan. For that reason, we have no reconciliation with them, we have no agreement with them," Gen Al Burhan, who is also chairman of Sudan's ruling Sovereignty Council, said in a speech on Friday.

“They do not seek the good for the country," he added.

The war that began on April 15 has devastated wide swathes of Sudan and displaced more than 7.5 million people.

Gen Burhan and Gen Dagalo both agreed in principle to a face-to-face meeting proposed last month by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an east African trade bloc, as the RSF appeared to be gaining the upper hand in the war.

But Gen Al Burhan said on Friday that he would not meet Gen Dagalo and called his former deputy in the Sovereignty Council a "clown", "traitor" and "coward".

He also rejected the ceasefire plan Gen Dagalo signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa this week.

Gen Dagalo, who has been visiting a number of African states in his first known trip abroad since the war began, said he briefed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the “considerable efforts taken to end this war” during a meeting in Pretoria on Thursday.

“I emphasised our unwavering commitment to cease hostilities,” he said in a statement.

He did not say whether he was still willing to meet Gen Al Burhan.

Updated: January 06, 2024, 8:24 AM