In the wake of nine months of protracted conflict, Sudan remains embroiled in a bitter power struggle between the Chief of the Army, General al-Burhan, and the leader of the paramilitary forces, General Hamdan Daglo, known as Hemedti, since April 15, 2023.
The clashes continue to escalate, reaching new states such as Khartoum, Darfur, Kordofan, Gezira, and most recently, the White Nile State, where army forces bombed positions held by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over the past weekend.
Despite the ongoing hostilities, diplomatic efforts have failed to yield any progress. The regional organization, Igad, had scheduled an extraordinary summit in Sudan for Thursday, January 18. However, the meeting appears to be in jeopardy as the Sudanese government announced its non-participation in the Igad summit.
For weeks, Igad has been attempting to broker a face-to-face meeting between General al-Burhan and General Hemedti to secure a ceasefire. Initially agreeing to the talks, the two warring factions have now entered a standoff.
A planned meeting at the end of December fell through when Hemedti, fresh from a diplomatic tour of six African countries, backed out at the last minute. This time, General al-Burhan has canceled his participation, insisting on a preliminary meeting and condemning the UN Secretary-General’s call to Hemedti.
A prominent researcher, Suleiman Baldo suggests that no diplomatic resolution seems imminent. The initial belief of both belligerents in a swift victory has now transformed into a prolonged power struggle.
The RSF, having expanded its control over Darfur, Kordofan, Khartoum, Gezira, and now the White Nile, is engaged in combat in Sennar. Meanwhile, the army maintains its stronghold over the northern, eastern, and parts of the southern regions.
While General al-Burhan hesitates over a meeting with his rival, General Hemedti actively fosters international connections, bolstering his standing in the eyes of the global community, as noted by a former Canadian diplomat. The situation remains precarious, with the hope for a diplomatic breakthrough dwindling amidst the ongoing conflict and geopolitical complexities.