More twist on Sudan peace talks after Ruto meets with Hemedti

More twist on Sudan peace talks after Ruto meets with Hemedti

Kenya’s President William Ruto met with the leader of the Sudanese paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), on Wednesday, where the duo promised tireless effort for a Sudanese ceasefire.

In their separate statements, the two leaders revealed that they talked about the current state of affairs in Sudan, the causes of the conflict, and potential solutions to end the suffering of its people.

The RSF leader noted in a statement published on X that he told President Ruto about the plan “for a ceasefire and the beginning of talks to find a comprehensive solution that could bring about a fair and long-lasting peace in Sudan.”

“I thanked him for the great efforts made by Kenya and the IGAD countries to end the war, the most recent of which was the meeting of IGAD heads of state in Djibouti, which we welcomed and affirmed our commitment to its outcomes,” he stated.

According to Hemedti, Mr Ruto has demonstrated goodwill in pursuing a ceasefire in Sudan since the war began in April last year.  

“I sensed an understanding and desire from the President of the Republic of Kenya to work with all parties to find a way out of the crisis that will restore security and stability to Sudan,” he added.

Ruto on the other hand, noted that he “appreciated the commitment by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and its leader General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo in ending the conflict in Sudan through dialogue.”

The duo promises a joint pursuit of a ceasefire in Sudan.

After disappearing from the limelight after the war broke out between his forces and the Sudan Armed Forces, Hemedti recently returned to the public eye and has recently visited Uganda and Djibouti, as well as meeting Sudan’s Civil Democratic Forces Alliance (Tagaddum) concluded yesterday with the signing of the Addis Ababa Declaration.

The RSF noted they are ready to agree with the army on an immediate ceasefire.

As part of the implementation of the outcomes of the summit held on December 9, which approved a 6-point African roadmap that begins with a direct meeting between Hemedti and Al-Burhan to stop the war, the member states of the African Development Authority (IGAD) are attempting to bring Al-Burhan and Hemedti together in a meeting that is anticipated to take place in the coming days. Since mid-April, the two groups have shared the circle.

Towards the end of last year, Hemedti’s rival, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who is the de facto military leader, embarked on various tours in an apparent attempt to win more allies. Al-Burhan visited Egypt, South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda and even attended the Saudi Arabia-Africa Summit, where he explained his position and laid the conditions for a ceasefire.

Late last year, IGAD convened a meeting in Djibouti that resolved to pursue a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders to ensure a political end to the impasse. But the meeting has since been postponed to a later date this month after the two sides failed to agree on some issues.

The meeting between Hemedti and Ruto came nearly six months after Al-Burhan accused the latter of siding with his rival and hosting him in Nairobi for treatment, claims that Ruto denied.

This was after the IGAD nominated Ruto to lead the mediation spearheaded by four countries in the bloc, known as the IGAD Quartet.

In 2023, in mid-April, war broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) under Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Response Forces (RSF) under Hemedti, rival factions of the military government of Sudan.

Since then, the war has devastated the capital, Khartoum and other parts of the country, caused a sharp increase in ethnically driven violence in Darfur, and displaced over three million people.