President William Ruto yesterday hosted General Abdel-Fattah Al Burhan, president of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of Sudan who is also the leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) at State House in Nairobi who agreed to support the Jeddah peace process for resolving the conflict in the volatile Sudan.
The move seemed to significantly ease tensions that had built up between the two leaders and signaled support for peace.
Burhan’s trip to Nairobi followed a series of back channels between the two capitals, as well as a brief meeting between president Ruto and Burhan on the sidelines of the Saudi-African Summit in Riyadh last week.
Burhan’s had initially rejected president Ruto as the lead mediator on a war in Sudan.
The situation was aggravated by public comments made regarding the situation in Sudan war by government functionaries in cabinet and parliament within the Kenya Kwanza administration further threatening a full blown diplomatic strain between Nairobi and Khartoum.
“The two leaders held bilateral talks on the recent security situation in Sudan and the Region. They also reviewed the state of ongoing peace initiatives, including the Jeddah and the IGAD peace processes. The two leaders underscored the urgent need to find a solution for the conflict in Sudan in the shortest time possible.” A statement from State House read in part.
Talks between the Sudanese army and rivals from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) resumed in the Saudi Port City on 26 October, 2023 but mediators – including the US, Saudi Arabia, IGAD and African Union – failed to compel both sides to uphold a ceasefire.
Ruto and Burhan called for an acceleration of the “slow” Jeddah talks and a dialogue framework through IGAD.
Burhan previously rejected Kenyan-led mediation efforts after accusing president Ruto of backing the RSF, which has been at war with the Sudanese army since mid-April.
Meanwhile, the RSF has denied responsibility for the killings of hundreds of ethnic Masalit in West Darfur State after the group seized the army headquarters there earlier this month.
The RSF blamed the Sudan army instead.
The RSF’s denial came after a local human rights organisation accused the group of killing at least 1,300 Masalit people and holding 500 others in the town of Ardamata near the state capital, El Geneina.