Burhan, Hemetti set for historic summit to end Sudan’s turmoil

A high-ranking Sudanese official disclosed that Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Chairman of the Sovereign Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Army, has agreed to meet with Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemetti,” the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The announcement follows al-Burhan’s address to Sudanese army officers in the Red Sea military region just 24 hours earlier, where he evoked the possibility of negotiating with the paramilitary forces. However, he emphasized his unwillingness to sign a peace agreement that involves any form of humiliation or insult towards the people and the armed forces.

The Sudanese Army’s Commander-in-Chief further underscored that the negotiations would focus on specific points, primarily emphasising achieving a ceasefire and the RSF withdrawal from residential areas in line with the Jeddah Agreement.

According to the Saudi-funded Al-Sharq TV, a government official revealed that Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Al-Sadiq delivered a written letter from al-Burhan to the President of Djibouti and the head of IGAD. The letter expressed al-Burhan’s willingness to meet with Hemetti, contingent upon certain conditions being met. Al-Sadiq conveyed this message to the Djibouti ambassador to Morocco during the Arab-Russian Forum in Marrakesh on December 20.

No date has been determined for the meeting but it is expected to take place in the coming days and could mark a turning point in the country’s ongoing conflict.

On December 9, IGAD convened an extraordinary summit to address the situation in Sudan. A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting announced that both al-Burhan and Hemetti had agreed to hold a direct meeting. The two belligerents also expressed their commitment to signing an unconditional ceasefire and resolving their dispute through dialogue.

However, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected the summit’s final statement, asserting that it overlooked remarks made by the Sudanese delegation. It was underscored that al-Burhan insisted on the Rapid Support Forces vacating homes and civilian facilities before the proposed meeting with Hemetti.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken affirmed the continuous efforts to facilitate a direct meeting between the leaders of the conflicting parties.

Blinken mentioned recent progress, stating that an agreement had been brokered about a week ago for the two generals, Burhan and Hemetti, to meet and commit to a ceasefire. He stressed the ongoing diplomatic efforts involving the African Union, IGAD, and other global partners to ensure the realization of this agreement.

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