Al-Burhan: Sudan does not need the African Union
Sudanese army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan blasts the African Union as the death toll in the country has surpassed 7,000.
Sudanese army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has slammed the African Union as the country's death toll has topped 7,000.
Al-Burhan stated Saturday that "we don't need" the African Union to end the country's almost five-month conflict.
Diplomatic tensions have risen since the African Union Commission's chief, Moussa Faki Mahamat, met with a political advisor to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) last week, sparking a censure from al-Burhan's administration.
According to a Friday study by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data (ACLED) project, the merciless fight between the army and the RSF has killed "nearly 7,500" people since April 15, with the toll being "a conservative estimate."
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), along with various humanitarian organizations, issued an urgent appeal to the global community, urging it to contribute $1 billion in aid. This financial support is aimed at assisting more than 1.8 million individuals who are expected to seek refuge in neighboring countries due to the ongoing clashes.
This number is nearly double the initial estimate made in May, underscoring the severity of the situation, as over 1 million people have already fled Sudan.
The conflict in Sudan, which began with violent clashes between the regular armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in mid-April, has persisted despite several temporary nationwide ceasefires.
Regrettably, none of these efforts have succeeded in resolving the conflict, resulting in hundreds of casualties and the displacement of nearly 3 million people. Among those affected, approximately 700,000 have fled the country, according to estimates from the United Nations. More recently, some moves by the army chief including trips to Egypt, South Sudan, and Qatar have signaled a potential return to diplomacy.
"If this is your approach, we don't need your help," al-Burhan remarked, in reference to the recent meeting between Faki and RSF advisor Youssef Ezzat.
The Foreign Ministry called the meeting "a dangerous precedent" and "a clear violation" of the continental bloc's norms, saying it "should hold no place for rebel movements and criminal terrorist militias."
Mohamed El Hacen Lebatt, a spokesperson for the AU Commission, said in a statement Thursday that the organization was committed to interacting "with all parties."
Lebatt noted that no Sudanese party had expressed "any reservation" when "the same approach" was adopted by other international actors.
The AU suspended Sudan's membership in 2021 after al-Burhan and Dagalo together led a coup that derailed a transition to civilian rule following the ouster of longtime strongman Omar al-Bashir.
Speaking about the East African bloc IGAD, al-Burhan also stated the bloc had "deviated from its course," adding that "we Sudanese can solve our problems ourselves."