Sudan’s Dagalo and Burhan in Saudi Arabia, potential agreement

A well-informed Sudanese source stated that the head of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Army Commander Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti), arrived in Saudi Arabia late last night.

Latest development could indicate a new negotiating path under the sponsorship of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including an agreement for a ceasefire and a political roadmap between the two parties.

The unannounced visit, conducted with apparent Saudi-Sudanese discretion, follows a suspension period of Jeddah negotiations facilitated by Saudi and U.S. mediation.

The talks reached a fragile ceasefire agreement on multiple occasions, which quickly collapsed amid mutual shelling and accusations of violations.

The Sudanese army and RSF leaders have not met directly since the outbreak of the armed conflict on April 15, neither within Sudan nor elsewhere.

Negotiations hosted in Jeddah were limited to representatives from both parties.

It is not clear yet whether the two generals, former partners in the transitional government’s administration, will engage in direct talks under the sponsorship of the Saudi Crown Prince or if the discussions will be indirect.

Nonetheless, their arrival in Saudi Arabia signals a positive indication towards a new path that could expedite a ceasefire and, subsequently, a new political roadmap to end the armed conflict.

On Monday, the Sudanese army commander expressed a conditional readiness to negotiate with the RSF leader, stating that they would sit together as long as he commits to protecting civilians.

RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo has also expressed readiness for negotiations on multiple occasions, emphasising the necessity of the army’s return to barracks.

Dagalo recently had proposed an initiative to halt the continuous fighting by forming a communication committee with political and societal forces and armed movements “to reach a comprehensive political solution” to the country’s crisis.

This initiative coincided with the return of the conflict parties in Sudan to the negotiation table in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

These developments come as Saudi Arabia demonstrates its aspiration to play a diplomatic role regionally and internationally. The Kingdom previously hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who attended the Arab Summit, marking a clear indication from Riyadh to act as a mediator in the crisis and end the war.

The visit of al-Burhan and Dagalo to the Kingdom coincides with both parties expressing a willingness to negotiate and end the war. However, each side imposes conditions that the other does not accept, and Prince Mohammed might work to bridge the differences between them.

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