Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, Sudan’s military leader, landed in Egypt this Tuesday. This visit comes a week after he departed from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, where his forces have been engaged in intense combat with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces since April.
The primary agenda of Gen Al Burhan’s visit is to engage in discussions with Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah El Sisi. The Egyptian leader warmly welcomed Gen Al Burhan upon his arrival at New Alamein, a picturesque resort city located along the Mediterranean coast. This city also serves as the summer headquarters for the Egyptian government, and it’s here that the crucial talks are slated to occur.
Egypt has always regarded Sudan as a pivotal component of its national security framework. The prevailing sentiment in Egypt is that any form of unrest or external interference in Sudan could potentially jeopardize Egypt’s own stability. This perspective is further reinforced by the fact that both nations share the central and northern parts of the Nile River, an essential resource for both countries. Additionally, a significant Sudanese community, estimated to be around five million, has been residing in Egypt for several decades, further intertwining the destinies of the two nations.
Under the leadership of Gen Al Burhan, Sudan and Egypt have strengthened their military ties. This collaboration has manifested in the form of a military cooperation agreement and the execution of multiple joint military exercises. However, it’s noteworthy that Egypt has maintained a cautious distance from Gen Mohamed Dagalo, the RSF commander and Gen Al Burhan’s adversary.
While Egypt has refrained from overtly supporting Gen Al Burhan in his conflict with the RSF, it did take a diplomatic initiative last month. Egypt spearheaded a summit that brought together Sudan’s neighboring countries, aiming to broker a peaceful resolution to the ongoing strife.
The conflict between Gen Al Burhan and Gen Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the leader of the RSF, has been raging since April 15. This war has expanded its footprint from Khartoum and Darfur to regions like Kordofan and Gazira state. The fallout of this conflict has been devastating, with thousands losing their lives and millions being displaced from their homes.
In a recent development, after being under siege by the RSF in Khartoum’s military headquarters for several months, Gen Al Burhan made a public appearance last week. He ventured outside the military compound to inspect his troops stationed in various parts of Sudan, which have been ravaged by the ongoing conflict.