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Sudan’s Army Rejects Peace Talks Amid Ongoing Conflict

IN a defiant stance on Wednesday, Sudan’s army dismissed a call to return to peace talks with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) after a conversation between General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The ongoing conflict, which erupted in April 2024 over a transition to free elections, has resulted in thousands of deaths and has displaced over 9 million people.

‘We will not go to Jeddah [venue for talks in Saudi Arabia] and whoever wants us to should kill us in our country and take our bodies there,’ declared Malik Agar, a former rebel leader and Burhan’s deputy on the Transitional Sovereign Council.


Despite the call for peace, intense fighting continued in the northern areas of Khartoum on Wednesday, with residents reporting heavy aerial bombings and artillery fire. The State Department noted that Blinken had emphasised the need to end the war and resume talks in Jeddah, which have been stalled for months without achieving a sustained ceasefire.

Sudan’s army-aligned foreign ministry has shown some openness to dialogue by welcoming an Egyptian invitation for a summit of civilian political groups, but it stipulated conditions on the types of groups and foreign actors involved. Meanwhile, Agar criticised a separate summit for civilian political parties in Addis Ababa, calling it a distraction from the goal of ending the war.

The RSF has previously indicated a willingness to engage in talks, though both sides have failed to honour commitments from prior negotiations. In addition to discussing the broader conflict, Blinken’s call with Burhan also addressed the escalating violence in al-Fashir, the North Darfur capital. Since May 10, fighting there has killed at least 145 people and displaced over 3,600 families, according to reports from the UN and Medecins Sans Frontieres.

The RSF has surrounded al-Fashir, raiding civilian neighbourhoods, while the army has conducted air strikes to maintain its last stronghold in the Darfur region. Residents report that projectiles from both sides have destroyed homes, and access to hospitals, water, and electricity has been severely disrupted.

As the international community continues to call for peace, the situation on the ground remains dire, with the humanitarian crisis worsening daily. The rejection of peace talks by Sudan’s army casts a shadow over prospects for a resolution, prolonging the suffering of millions caught in the crossfire.

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