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Sudanese warring parties throw cold water on African mediation gains

 THE Sudanese army and the rival paramilitary force it has been fighting for eight months have both cast doubt on an announcement by regional mediators that they had committed to a ceasefire and political dialogue.

IGAD, a grouping of East African nations, has sought along with the United States and Saudi Arabia to mediate an end to the conflict which has killed more than 12,000 people, displaced more than 6.5 million, and severely hit Sudan’s economy.

IGAD had said on Sunday that army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo had agreed to meet for the first time since the outbreak of fighting as well as a proposal for an unconditional ceasefire.

But in a statement on Sunday, the army-aligned foreign ministry said it did not recognise the IGAD statement as it did not incorporate notes it had made, in particular, that the meeting with Dagalo was conditional on a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of RSF troops from the capital Khartoum.

Meanwhile, the RSF said its acceptance of the meeting was on condition that Burhan did not attend in his capacity of head of state, a post he has held since 2019 when the army and RSF worked together to oust long-ruling strongman Omar al-Bashir.

The army, which regards the war as a rebellion by the RSF, is unlikely to accept such a stipulation.

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Talks led by Saudi Arabia and the United States had adjourned earlier this month with no progress made on previously agreed confidence-building measures or a ceasefire.

By The African Mirror