July 17, 2024

Cairo emerges as potential mediator


Recent high-level diplomatic engagements in Cairo have sparked optimism for a potential breakthrough in resolving the Sudanese crisis. Notable figures involved in the conflict, including Sudanese President Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, opposition leader Abdallah Hamdok, and Darfur Governor Minni Arko Minawi, have held discussions with Egyptian officials, indicating a significant diplomatic push towards peace.

Efforts are underway to revive a crucial meeting between the commanders of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a pivotal step towards ending the war. Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemetti) wield considerable influence, making their agreement essential for any sustainable resolution.

The Arab League, with robust support from Egypt, has emerged as a potential mediator, drawing from its experience in facilitating the recent Libyan conflict negotiations. There are considerations for Saudi Arabia’s involvement to ensure a cohesive regional approach in alignment with the Jeddah agreement.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has expressed readiness to host all Sudanese parties involved in the conflict, underscoring the organization’s commitment to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement. The emphasis on inclusivity enhances the prospects for a lasting resolution to the crisis.

Amidst this flurry of diplomatic activities, there is hope for an end to the year-long conflict in Sudan. The potential for a meeting between al-Burhan and Hemedti, facilitated by the Arab League and supported by regional powers, offers a promising path towards a sustainable solution.

**Egypt-Saudi Efforts Bolster Diplomatic Endeavors**

Collaborative efforts between Saudi Arabia and Egypt bolster hopes for resolving the Sudanese conflict. A proposed meeting in Cairo, under the “Egyptian formula,” aims to unite the commanders of the SAF and RSF under the Arab League’s auspices. Approval from Sudanese leadership and the RSF is pivotal for advancing broader peace discussions.

Former Prime Minister Hamdok’s potential return to Cairo during Ramadan signifies ongoing efforts to finalize the proposal and extend invitations to key stakeholders. Additionally, the recent UN Security Council resolution urging a ceasefire during the holy month underscores international support for regional peace initiatives.

However, Darfur Governor Minni Arko Minawi casts doubt on the feasibility of a crucial meeting in Cairo between al-Burhan and Hemedti. Citing a previous failed attempt in December 2023, Minawi expresses concerns about potential hindrances posed by recent military advancements by the Sudanese army.

**Competing Regional Agendas Pose Challenges**

Concerns mount regarding potential interference from overlapping Arab and Arab-African interests, posing challenges to mediation efforts in Sudan. Suspected support from the UAE for General Hemetti raises doubts about its neutrality, complicating its role as a potential mediator in the conflict.

Recent economic and political developments, including a significant deal between the UAE and Egypt, fuel speculation about broader regional cooperation and its impact on the Sudanese crisis. Additionally, reported secret talks involving Egypt and the UAE underscore the complexity of regional involvement in the conflict.

Despite pressure to include the UAE in peace talks, Sudan prioritizes continued Saudi-American mediation. However, the potential for Abu Dhabi to play a constructive role hinges on its demonstrated commitment to ceasing support for insurgency and fostering an environment conducive to conflict resolution, as outlined in the Jeddah proposal.

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