Sudan army chief Burhan to visit Qatar as war with RSF rages

Sudan army chief Burhan to visit Qatar as war with RSF rages
2 min read
06 September, 2023
The de facto leader of conflict-ravaged Sudan, Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, is set to land in Qatar as part of a tour of Middle Eastern and North African countries, a Qatari spokesperson said.
Burhan was in the South Sudanese capital city of Juba on Monday [AFP via Getty]

 Sudan's head of state and army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is set to land in Qatar as part of a regional tour, a Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Burhan will make visits to several countries in the Middle East and North Africa region as war rages between the Sudanese army he leads and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary.

"Burhan is on a tour of a number of countries, and Qatar is one of his stops," The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, on Tuesday reported spokesman Majid al-Ansari saying.

Burhan has made several overseas visits since the conflict between the army and the RSF began in April, as he looks to court international support.

He was in Egypt last week and then visited the South Sudanese capital Juba on Monday. Both Egypt and South Sudan have seen hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees flee the fighting to their territory.

His visit to Qatar quickly follows that of the Sudanese civilian opposition group, the Freedom Forces for Change (FFC).

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The FFC said its delegation met with Qatari officials a fortnight ago to discuss ways in which to end the conflict.

Though Qatar will have played host to the two visits in quick succession, the Qatari spokesman said he did not know of any official request for mediation between warring parties.

Qatar has previously acted, or has offered to act, as a mediator in several regional conflicts and political disputes.

The war between Burhan and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the RSF, has killed at least 5,000 people, according to a conservative estimate from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data project.

It has also spurred a massive exodus from the country, with 4.8 million people fleeing their homes - one million of whom have crossed borders, according to the UN.

Diplomatic efforts to end the fighting have floundered, and multiple truces have been broken.

Other countries in the region have sought to mediate between the warring parties, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.