After more than 100 days of violence and destruction can Sudanese warring powers choose peace?
A top envoy to Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on Monday (Jul. 24) said it was “time for peace”.
Youssef Ezzat made his remarks in Togo where he was attending talks aimed at preventing Sudan’s Darfur region from sliding deeper into war.
“We’re all looking for peace. The Sudanese people are looking for peace,” xx conceded.
“Sudanese people are suffering from war for decades in regions like Darfur, in Blue Nile, in South Sudan and East Sudan and now in the capital in Khartoum, so this is the time to end the war and to start a new future for Sudanese people, peace, development, justice and equality. That’s what we are looking for and I think it’s time for peace in Sudan.”
Ezzat added his side would participate in any “kind of meeting for peace and bringing people together, and stop the war in Darfur and in Sudan.”
On the frontline, fighting showed no sign of abating on Monday.
Creating a roadmap to stop violence
A representative from a key Darfur rebel faction attending the Lomé talks, welcomed the creation of roadmap.
“To prevent the region from plunging into a state of chaos. It is now in a state of chaos but not in a full fledged civil war.”
“That’s what we are trying to avert, that is why we put a roadmap and an action plan where we could follow through that and work with other community leaders, other leaders within Darfur, even within Sudan itself.”
Darfur, in western Sudan, saw some of the worst bouts of violence in the conflict.
In the early 2000s, the region another bloody war which it it never fully recovered.
The representatives in Togo’s capital discussed ways of reopening Darfur’s El-Geneina airport under RSF control, to bring in humanitarian aid.
The Togo talks came after rights campaigners in Darfur blamed the RSF and allied Arab militias for reported atrocities in their stronghold there, including rape, looting and the mass killings of ethnic minorities.
A deadly power struggled has pitted Sudan’s army chief against his former deputy, commander of the paramilitary RSF forces.
Since April 15, the fighting has turned Khartoum and other urban areas into battlefields. The sprawling region of Darfur saw the fighting turn into ethnic clashes.
The conflict derailed Sudanese hopes of restoring the country’s fragile transition to democracy, which had begun after a popular uprising forced the military’s removal of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. A coup, led by the military and RSF, disrupted the democratic transition in October 2021.
Pro-democracy leaders, meanwhile, were meeting Monday (Jul. 24) afternoon in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, the first such gathering of Sudanese politicians since the breakout of the war.