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General Burhan’s Visit to Kenya and Ethiopia: Tactical or Strategic? Consolidation of the Question of Forums

This week, Lieutenant General Burhan made important visits to the capitals of Kenya and Ethiopia respectively. Both countries are important players in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union. These visits followed an important conference in Saudi Arabia, which hosted the Jeddah peace process on Sudan – and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) participated in the latest round of talks.

The fundamental question here is: are General Al-Burhan’s visits to Nairobi and Addis Ababa compatible with the old tactics of buying time and manoeuvring to prolong the war with the aim of winning it? Or does it mean a strategic change in the direction of mobilizing the region to stop and end the war?

Regardless of their underlying intentions, the visits have taken the opposite direction to Islamist tactics involving shopping on forums. This shift is noticeable because Islamists play a pivotal role in shaping SAF policies. Through the Foreign Ministry, Islamists have tried to exploit regional contradictions and divergent interests to prolong the war in the hope of winning it.

Therefore, these visits should be welcomed by the anti-war civilian movement, as these visits can strategically serve to unite the various peace forums and initiatives. In addition, the visits will help create a favorable environment among IGAD countries and remove obstacles to IGAD, which Islamists and the National Congress are trying to use to sabotage IGAD.

Moreover, these visits can be used as a new opportunity to strengthen the working environment between the Jeddah peace process, the African Union and IGAD. This momentum and environment should be immediately exploited as great opportunities for the establishment of a unified forum for the peace process in the Sudan, especially among the initiatives of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The new environment provides an opportunity to develop a framework between the regional and international communities, and create a partnership to achieve peace in Sudan. This should include the Gulf states, Egypt, Chad, Eritrea, the United Nations, Europe, and the troika. We have to use and maintain the current momentum because it could be a game-changer.

Lieutenant General Al-Burhan and the Army Command:

General Burhan and the army command carried out the agenda of the National Congress in the October 25 coup and the April 15 war. Despite the horrific destruction, they have a chance to turn their obligations into assets. Therefore, General Al-Burhan needs to consider his visits to Nairobi and Addis Ababa strategically in order to:

  1. Strategically unify forums to serve Sudan’s interests and stop the war by setting clear priorities to address humanitarian crises and gross violations of human rights.
  2. The democratic re-establishment of the Sudanese state, the promotion of citizenship without discrimination, and the development of non-politicized and professionally diverse armed forces reflect Sudan’s unity in diversity.
  3. Achieve the goal of the December Revolution of establishing a transitional civilian government, and enabling civilians and anti-war movements to play an active role in the political process.

This would bridge the gap between the leadership of the army, the Sudanese people, the region and the international community, creating a basis for resolving the conflict between the warring parties. If General Burhan takes his successful visits to Nairobi and Addis Ababa tactically to buy time and continue the war, it will only add another failure to his record of failures in the coup and war.

The African Union and the Need for a High-Level Panel on Sudan:

Given the importance of the African Union for Sudan and the current international division, especially in the UN Security Council, it is important for the African Union to take Sudan’s file seriously and institutionally. It is time for the African Union and the African Peace and Security Council to appoint a High Commission for the Sudan, composed of men and women of a State representing different parts of Africa. This committee will help bridge the gap between the various initiatives and develop an open-ended structured plan for cooperation with regional and international stakeholders, working closely with the UN, especially as the UN Secretary-General may choose an African statesman as Sudan’s envoy.

The African High Commission will certainly be respected by the Sudanese, the region and the international community.

Source: Al-Taghyeer