Nairobi and Khartoum are embroiled in a full blown diplomatic row after Sudan recalled its ambassador to Kenya in protest after president William Ruto warmly hosted Sudanese paramilitary commander of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo alias Hemedti at State House.
Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Al-Sadiq confirmed the summoning of Kamal Gubara for hosting the RSF leader.
Quoting Al-Sadiq, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) highlighted the significance of the move, saying “the consultation with their ambassador will cover all possibilities for the outcome of Sudan’s relations with Kenya.”
Sudan’s military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Hemedti are involved in violent clashes in fight for the control of the country.
Kenya said the meeting between Ruto and Dagalo was aimed at fostering lasting peace in Sudan, which has been facing clashes between the Sudanese army and the RSF since mid-April 2023.
According to the UN, the conflict has resulted in the loss of at least 12,000 lives, with more than 33,000 people sustaining injuries.
The humanitarian impact is severe, with an estimated 24.8 million people, nearly one-half of Sudan’s population, requiring urgent assistance in 2024.
Dagalo’s visit to Nairobi is part of a broader regional tour that has seen him engage with leaders in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda in recent weeks. He is currently in South Africa.
The RSF leader’s diplomatic engagements have drawn mixed reactions, particularly due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan.