Sudan refuses to attend regional peace talks in Ethiopia


This combination of pictures shows Sudan’s army chief, Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (R) in Juba on October, 14, 2019; and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (L), who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), addressing the media upon his return from Russia at Khartoum airport on March 2, 2022. (Photos by Ashraf SHAZLY and Akuot Chol / AFP)

Sudan’s government on Monday refused to participate in a regional meeting to resolve the crisis in the conflict-wracked nation, accusing Kenya, which chaired the talks, of favouring rival forces.

Around 3,000 people have been killed since mid-April when fighting erupted between Sudan’s rival generals, while nearly three million have been forced to flee their homes.

The east African regional bloc IGAD had invited the foes — Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) — to a meeting in Ethiopia’s capital on Monday.

Neither attended the talks personally in Addis Ababa, although the RSF sent a representative to the “quartet” meeting led by Kenya, South Sudan, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

Sudan’s foreign ministry said on Monday that its delegation would not participate until its request to remove Kenya as chair of the talks was met.

The ministry had asked for “Kenyan President William Ruto (to) be replaced… in particular because of his partiality”, the statement said.

Sudan had earlier alleged that Nairobi “adopted the positions of the RSF militia, sheltered its people and offered them various forms of support”.

In a communique released after Monday’s meeting, the quartet said it would request the African Union look into possibly deploying the East Africa Standby Force — usually tasked with election observer missions — in Sudan “for the protection of civilians and… humanitarian access”.

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