January 4, 2024

Sudan paramilitary leader Daglo holds talks in South Africa

Sudan paramilitary leader Daglo holds talks in South Africa

Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the commander of Sudanese paramilitary forces that are fighting the national army, met South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on Thursday as part of a tour of African capitals.

Daglo has met regional leaders in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti since late December, his first visits abroad since the start of the conflict in mid-April.

“I briefed President Ramaphosa on the root causes of the war and the factors contributing to its persistence,” Daglo posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“I emphasized our unwavering commitment to cease hostilities despite the challenges arising from the reluctance of the opposing force and their intentional efforts to prolong this conflict,” he said.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an organisation of eight East African countries, has been trying to bring Daglo to the table with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the Sudanese army.

The two men have never met since the start of the war that has plunged Sudan into a humanitarian crisis, with 12,000 dead, according to a conservative estimate by the ACLED analysis group, and more than seven million people displaced, according to the United Nations.

“President Ramaphosa expressed South Africa’s support for the imminent face to face dialogue between General Dagalo and General Burhan and reiterated the need for an immediate ceasefire, and the dialogue towards permanent cessation of hostilities,” the South African president’s office said in a statement, using an alternative spelling for the paramilitary leader.

Daglo has shown an openness to ending the fighting during his visits abroad, expressing on Thursday “our full readiness to stop the war.”

Earlier mediations have led to short-term truces that weren’t respected.

In recent weeks, fighting has extended to Al-Jazira state in the east, which had been spared up to now and had become a refuge for half a million people.