Head of Sudan’s paramilitary RSF visits Djibouti amid ceasefire efforts

Hemedti visits Djibouti as East African countries attempt to broker a ceasefire between the RSF and the Sudanese army.

General Mohammed Hamdan 'Hemedti' Dagalo salutes during a rally in Galawee, northern Sudan [File: AP Photo]

The head of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has visited Djibouti, the nation at the forefront of regional initiatives to facilitate a ceasefire following over eight months of ongoing conflict.

Djibouti is the latest stop on Mohamed Hamdan Daglo‘s first trip abroad since fighting erupted between the RSF and the Sudanese army in mid-April.

His regional tour, which has also taken him to Ethiopia and Uganda, came as diplomats scramble to broker a meeting between Dagalo, known as “Hemedti”, and his rival, Sudanese army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The warring generals have not met face to face since the outbreak of the conflict that has killed more than 12,000 people by some conservative estimates and forced millions to flee.

Hemedti said on X that he discussed the latest developments in the war with Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

“I outlined our unwavering commitment to ending the conflict and working toward a substantive solution that finally halts the historic suffering of our resilient Sudanese people.

“I emphasised our readiness to participate in negotiations aimed at achieving a swift, just, and comprehensive peace in Sudan.”

In another post on X, Djibouti Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf said the visit was part of his country’s efforts, as head of regional grouping IGAD, to try to forge a ceasefire in Sudan.

“Next week, as chair of IGAD, Djibouti will also prepare the ground for Sudanese dialogue and will host a critical meeting,” Youssouf had said on X on Saturday, without giving further details.

On Thursday, Hemedti met Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa, following discussions with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni the day prior.

IGAD, a bloc representing eight East African countries, has been trying to bring al-Burhan and Hemedti together since the war erupted.

On Wednesday, Djibouti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a meeting between the rivals planned for December 28 had been “postponed to early January for technical reasons”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies