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Sudan’s army chief calls off reconciliatory efforts with fighter group

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Chairman of Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan

Chairman of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council and General Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on Friday said the army would continue fighting the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

“There is no reconciliation or agreement with the rebels. We will fight until the militia ends, or we end,” Al-Burhan said in a video speech posted by the sovereign council on its Telegram account on Friday. “Our battle continues until every site in Sudan is restored,” said the SAF commander. Al-Burhan welcomed a popular campaign, or the “Sudanese Popular Resistance.” “We welcome the popular resistance, and we will arm them, but the weapons must be legalized and registered by the armed forces,” he said. He, meanwhile, criticized the recently signed declaration between the RSF and Coordination of Civilian Democratic Forces (Taqaddum), a Sudanese political coalition led by former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. “The politicians who signed an agreement with RSF made a mistake by talking to rebels,” said Al-Burhan, noting that “the politicians’ agreement with the RSF is unacceptable and valueless.” On Jan. 2, the RSF and the Taqaddum signed the “Addis Ababa Declaration” to stop the war in Sudan.

According to the declaration, the RSF is prepared to immediately and unconditionally cease hostilities through direct talks with the Sudanese army. The two parties to the declaration also stressed that sustainable peace in Sudan must be based on ending the multiplicity of armies and forming one professional army. Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the SAF and the RSF since April 15, 2023. More than 12,000 people have been killed in the fighting, according to a statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in December last year.

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