Kenya's William Ruto holds talks with Sudan's Burhan

Monday July 17 2023

Sudan's Army General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan. PHOTO | ASHRAF SHAZLY | AFP


President William Ruto spoke on Sunday with Sudan junta leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, making the first step since the Sudanese army chief openly rejected the Kenyan leader's mediation role.

General Burhan, who leads the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) that is fighting against his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo aka Hemedti's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, had rejected mediation by a quartet of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) led by the Kenyan President.

Although the details of the telephone conversation were not given, it signals President Ruto's attempt to prove his impartiality against accusations of close business ties with Hemedti even though Burhan has not provided evidence to back his claims.

Read: Region worries as Sudan rivals harden positions

Dr Ruto, however, called for the fighting, which erupted on April 15 this year, to stop and for parallel mediation forums to seek a long-lasting ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor.

“(I) held a telephone call with the chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan,” President Ruto said in a tweet.


“The Igad and Jeddah processes must work together to facilitate the realisation of a permanent ceasefire in Sudan. They must also push for the free movement of humanitarian assistance, the protection of refugees and the reactivation of the political process.”

Chad leader

Dr Ruto also held talks with the President of Chad over the Sudan crisis.

“In my capacity as chair of the Igad Quartet of Heads of States on Sudan, I also spoke with the President of Chad, General Mahatma Idriss Deby Itno; our conversation centred around the speedy restoration of normalcy in Sudan and support for refugee-hosting countries.”

Read: Sudan war summit urges calm, UN reports mass grave in Darfur

About 3,000 people have been killed and three million displaced since violence erupted between SAF and RSF.