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Egypt-backed peace talks make slow progress

Rival factions met in Cairo for reconciliation discussions but deep divisions limited the prospects for meaningful progress

The latest international attempts – this time by Egypt – to broker peace talks between the two sides in the civil war are already struggling. Cairo, which backs the Sudan Armed Forces has been trying to make progress in close-door discussions with the United Arab Emirates, which backs the Rapid Support Forces militia which is widely accused of massacring women and children in Darfur. The UAE is also of the biggest foreign investors in Egypt.

During the conference the Democratic Bloc, which is aligned with the army, refused to hold joint sessions with the Tagadum faction, which represents the Sudanese Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces, which it accuses of sympathising with the RSF  (AC Vol 65 No 3, Why Tagadum could be a turning point). Neither the SAF nor the RSF attended the meetings in Cairo.

Tagadum is headed by former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who urged both sides to ‘be patient and to build on anything positive that comes out of it’.

He also played up the prospects of a meeting between Sudan’s army leader, General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, and RSF commander Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo ‘Hemeti’ in the coming weeks.

The meeting, which was endorsed by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council last week, was supposed to help the parties take the first steps towards a formal process that would be mediated by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Instead, the two factions agreed only to form a small subcommittee to come up with a final communique calling for an end to the war, which three Democratic Bloc leaders –  Finance Minister Jibril Ibrahim, Darfur governor Minni Minnawi and Sovereign Council deputy Malik Agar did not sign.

A series of previous attempts by the international community to mediate a ceasefire to the war which started in April 2023, have been unsuccessful. This is in part because many neighbouring countries are perceived to have backed a side in the conflict (Dispatches 27/3/24, IGAD returns to Sudan negotiations with a peace envoy).

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