Sudan’s paramilitary RSF to move Egyptian troops to Khartoum

The RSF says in a statement that Egyptian forces would be handed over to Cairo ‘once the situation allows it’.

Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) will move Egyptian troops that were in Merowe airport when fighting broke out to the capital, Khartoum, the group has said.

The RSF said in a statement that Egyptian troops would be handed over to Cairo “once the situation allows it”.

After clashes erupted between Sudan’s armed forces and the rival RSFon Saturday, the RSF shared a video it said showed Egyptian troops who had “surrendered” to them in the northern town of Merowe, about halfway between Khartoum and the border with Egypt.

The video showed a group of men dressed in army fatigues crouched on the ground and speaking to members of the RSF in an Egyptian Arabic dialect.

Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday said Egyptian troops held in Sudan were merely there to conduct exercises with their Sudanese counterparts and not to support any of the warring parties.

Fighting between the military and the RSF raged for a fifth day on Wednesday, with air raids and shelling rocking the capital after the failure of a United States-brokered ceasefire. The warring sides have accused each other of breaking the truce.

Later on Wednesday, the RSF said it was committed to a 24-hour ceasefire starting at 6pm (16:00 GMT).

“We confirm our full commitment to a complete ceasefire, and we hope the other party will abide by the ceasefire according to the announced time,” the RSF added in a statement.

It was not immediately clear whether the army would announce its own commitment to the ceasefire.

Violence erupted across Sudan on Saturday between the forces of two generals who seized power in a 2021 coup: army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, better known by his nickname Hemedti, who commands the RSF.

It followed a bitter dispute between them over the planned integration of the RSF into the regular army – a key condition for a final deal aimed at restoring Sudan’s democratic transition.

The fighting has killed at least 270 people and wounded more than 12,600, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday.

Widespread power and water outages have put many hospitals out of service and thousands have begun leaving their homes in the capital.

Egyptian troops held

In a speech broadcast by Egyptian state television after Abdel Fattah el-Sisi chaired a meeting of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces on Monday, the president said he is in contact with the RSF to ensure the safety of Egyptian soldiers in Sudan.

“We hope to get back our troops as soon as possible,” el-Sisi said.

El-Sisi also said Egypt was in regular contact with the Sudanese army and the RSF to “encourage them to accept a ceasefire and spare the blood of the Sudanese people”.

Source: News Agencies