By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network
NEW YORK. 24 September 2023 (IDN) — In a recent press interview, Sudan’s army chief claimed to support a peaceful solution to the ongoing war that killed thousands and displaced millions of civilians.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the de facto ruler of Sudan, was on a regional tour, making stops in Egypt, Qatar, and South Sudan to discuss the ongoing crisis in his country.
The trip prompted speculation that he is willing to seek a negotiated solution to the war that has been raging since 15 April between the Sudanese military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
“Every war ends in peace, whether through negotiations or force. We are proceeding on those two paths, and our preferred path is the path of negotiations,” Burhan said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Burhan added that he believed that stalled talks by Saudi Arabia and the United States in Jeddah could still succeed.
Simultaneously, RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, said in a video speech released to coincide with an address by Burhan to the UN General Assembly that he was ready for a cease-fire and political talks.
However, previous claims by both sides that they want peace and are ready for cease-fires have failed to stop the bloodshed.
In fact, in an interview with Al Jazeera reporter Mike Hanna this week, the armed force leader expressed doubt that his rival in the RSF was serious about peace talks. “It’s not possible, to be honest. He’s the one who has continued to fight in el-Geneina, other cities, and near our military headquarters. That is why he did not commit himself to those understandings in Jeddah when we reached some understanding.”
Asked if the fighting could spread over borders and was not just a localized war, creating a massive humanitarian disaster throughout the whole region, not just in Sudan, Burhan acknowledged the prediction.
“This conflict will spill into [neighboring] countries and will not be confined to Sudan,” he warned. “Yes, most certainly. This may spill into other countries and threaten the region’s and world’s security and safety.
The comments come as the World Health Organization offered a bleak picture of child mortality—between 15 May and 14 September. At least 1,200 children under five died from a deadly combination of a suspected measles outbreak and high malnutrition in nine camps for internally displaced people in Sudan’s White Nile state.
Children worst impacted
“Children younger than five are worst impacted, accounting for nearly 70% of all cases and 76% of all deaths,” they said.
Both warring factions, the SAF and RSF, have faced accusations of committing egregious acts of violence against civilians, including arbitrary detentions and killings.
In May, the UN appealed for $2.57 billion in humanitarian assistance for 18 million people in Sudan.
As of 19 September, the appeal has garnered $788 million, approximately 30% of the required funds, with the United States leading the list of donors with a contribution of $472.5 million.
“The world has the means and the money to prevent every one of these deaths from measles or malnutrition,” Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement on 19 September.
“And yet dozens of children are dying every day—a result of this devastating conflict and a lack of global attention. We can prevent more deaths, but need money for the response, access to those in need, and above all, an end to the fighting,” he said, according to the statement. [IDN-InDepthNews]
Photo: General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan declared a nationwide state of emergency and dissolved the transitional government in Sudan on 25 October 2021. [Photo credit: Sudan TV]
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