CAIRO: Sudan’s army chief on Tuesday visited Egypt on his first trip abroad following the outbreak of fighting in April, as the latest violence killed dozens of civilians in battle-scarred Darfur.
Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Alamein.
El-Sisi reiterated Egypt’s intention to stand by Sudan and support its security, stability, unity, and territorial integrity, according to the spokesman for the presidency.
“El-Sisi affirmed that Egypt holds in high esteem its historical bonds and deep relations with Sudan at the official and popular levels,” he said.
Medics and witnesses have said that 39 civilians have been killed, most of them women and children, in shelling in Nyala, Sudan’s second city and the capital of South Darfur state, where fighting between the army and paramilitary forces has intensified.
The fighting between Al-Burhan’s troops and those of his former deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, has raged since April 15.
Al-Burhan flew from Port Sudan to Alamein on Egypt’s north coast, and said his forces faced “rebel groups who have committed war crimes in their attempt to seize power.”
He added: “I was keen to brief the Egyptian leadership on the developments in the situation in Sudan, and we ask the world to look at the war objectively. The war (has) affected all Sudanese, and we seek to put an end to it.”
He stressed that “the Sudanese army is committed to establishing a real transitional period, after which the Sudanese people can establish their state and choose who will rule it.”
Al-Burhan added: “We have no ambitions for power, and we seek to hold free and fair elections that fulfill the aspirations of the Sudanese people.”
El-Sisi and Al-Burhan discussed possible cooperation and coordination to support the Sudanese people — especially through humanitarian aid and relief — so Sudan can safely overcome the current crisis.
The meeting also touched on developments in Sudan’s neighboring countries.
Al-Burhan praised Egyptian support for helping to preserve the safety and stability of Sudan.
Port Sudan, which has been spared the violence, is where government officials and the UN have relocated operations. It is also the site of Sudan’s only functioning airport.
Al-Burhan’s trip follows multiple diplomatic efforts to end the violence in Sudan, with a series of ceasefires brokered by Saudi Arabia and the US being systematically violated.
Egypt, which shares a border with Sudan and has received more than 250,000 refugees from its neighbor, in July hosted a crisis meeting attended by African leaders to seek a solution to the issue.