Sudan’s military ruler visits Egypt in first trip abroad since conflict erupted

Sudan’s military leader traveled to Egypt Tuesday in his first trip abroad since a conflict between the Sudanese army and a powerful paramilitary group erupted in mid-April.

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan’s army chief and leader of the Sovereign Council which governs the African nation, will meet with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss “the unfolding situation in Sudan,” an army statement read.

The leaders will also discuss strategies to enhance and advance the bilateral relations between the two countries as well as addressing matters of shared concern, the statement added.

Burhan was traveling with the highest authorities of the Sudanese Intelligence and Military Industry services.

The army shared images of Burhan on social media greeting several officers at Port Sudan airport.

The Sudanese leader was seen wearing civilian clothing for the first time since fighting between the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group and the army erupted on April 15.

Burhan’s visit to Egypt comes days after he appeared in public for the first time since June.

Since then, he has visited several military bases and camps in northern and eastern Sudan — including the strategic Wadi Sidna airbase some 20 kilometers north of Khartoum, and the Flamingo naval base on the Red Sea — in a bid to boost morale among his troops.

Addressing members of Sudan’s military at the Flamingo base, Burhan said no agreement had been made with the RSF and praised his soldiers for their efforts to “overcome the rebels,” the Sudan Tribune quoted him as saying.

Fierce fighting between both factions continues in several districts and strategic sites in Khartoum and western Sudan.

Talks between the warring sides to reach a truce remain suspended and are unlikely to resume, although RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, on Sunday laid out a roadmap to end the war and initiate a new transitional process.

Egypt, which has received over 250,000 refugees from Sudan, has deepened ties with Sudan since the ouster of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 and Burhan has led the rapprochement so far.

Cairo has so far stayed out of the conflict, claiming it is an internal affair that must be resolved domestically, and has called for non-intervention, although it hosted a meeting in July of Sudan’s neighboring countries on the repercussions of the war.

The conflict, one of the worst in Sudan’s recent history, has left between 1,000 and 3,000 dead, according to different estimates, and has forced the displacement of some 4.5 million people. EFE