Sudan’s Army Chief Visits Egypt Amid Ongoing Conflict

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Sudan’s army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, embarked on his first international trip since the outbreak of war in April, visiting Egypt for talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The visit comes as violence continues in Darfur, with shelling of the city of Nyala resulting in the deaths of at least 39 civilians, mostly women and children.

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, donning a suit and tie in place of his military uniform, traveled from Port Sudan to Egypt’s north coast for discussions with President al-Sisi. The conflict in Sudan, pitting Burhan against his former deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, has escalated since April, causing widespread casualties and displacing millions.

Sisi reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to supporting Sudan’s security, stability, and territorial integrity during their meeting.

The ongoing war has witnessed a power struggle between Burhan and Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The conflict has its roots in a 2021 coup led by Burhan, backed by Daglo, which derailed Sudan’s transition to civilian rule following the 2019 ousting of former leader Omar al-Bashir.

Burhan’s visit to Egypt follows numerous diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict, including ceasefires brokered by the US and Saudi Arabia. Egypt and Turkey stand in support of the army, while the United Arab Emirates and Russian mercenary group Wagner are accused of aiding the RSF.

The violence in Sudan, estimated to have claimed nearly 5,000 lives according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data project, has triggered widespread displacement with over 4.6 million people affected both within and outside the country.

As Burhan’s diplomatic efforts unfold, analysts suggest that international allies on both sides will play pivotal roles in shaping the conflict’s trajectory. Following his visit to Egypt, speculations arise about his potential visit to Saudi Arabia, which is positioning itself as a mediator opposing the UAE’s support for the RSF.

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