Israel in a proposal given to the warring generals in Sudan offered to host the two sides for Israeli-mediated talks aimed at reaching a cease-fire agreement, three Israeli Foreign Ministry officials told Axios.
Driving the news: Israeli officials presented the proposal to Army chief Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) head Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo — known as Hemedti — after several separate calls between Israeli officials and the two generals showed some progress, the Israeli officials said.
- Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Ronen Levy, director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, have been sending messages and directly speaking to al-Burhan and Hemedti since the fighting started more than a week ago, urging them to implement a cease-fire, according to the officials.
- The Israeli Foreign Ministry officials said both al-Burhan and Hemedti didn’t rule out the Israeli proposal and gave off the impression that they were both considering it positively.
- A spokesperson for the Sudanese Armed Forces and a Hemedti adviser did not immediately respond to Axios’ requests for comment.
- Israel coordinated its efforts with the Biden administration and countries in the region like the United Arab Emirates and briefed them about the proposal, the Israeli Foreign Ministry officials said. A U.S. official confirmed the Biden administration was briefed on the proposal.
What they’re saying: Cohen told Axios that since his visit to Khartoum in February, which was aimed at pushing for a peace treaty between Israel and Sudan, he has stayed in touch with different players in the country in order to strengthen relations.
- “Since the fighting started in Sudan, Israel has been working in different channels in order to reach a ceasefire. The progress we have made with the two parties is very encouraging. If there will be a way that Israel could help in stopping the war and the violence in Sudan we will be very happy to do it,” Cohen said.
Between the lines: Israel’s normalization process with Sudan in the last three years and the relationships it built with both al-Burhan and Hemedti put it in a unique position to try to influence the two warring generals.
- Israel also has motivation. Israeli officials told Axios last week they are highly concerned that the current fighting will devastate the country, prevent the formation of a civilian government, and end any prospects for a peace agreement between Israel and Sudan.
Catch up quick: The recent fighting in Sudan, now in its 10th day, erupted as growing tensions between al-Burhan and Hemedti boiled over.
- The pair led a military coup in October 2021, derailing the transition to democracy that began after the ouster of long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising four years ago.
- But disagreements between the two generals began to rapidly escalate, particularly after the military, RSF and a coalition of civilian parties last December signed a preliminary political deal in which the military agreed to hand over power.
- Hundreds have been killed and thousands have been injured in the recent fighting. Some parts of the country are suffering a humanitarian crisis that the UN has called in recent days “catastrophic.”
- Several countries, including the U.S., evacuated their diplomatic staff and shuttered their embassies over the weekend due to the fighting, which is taking place in Khartoum and other cities across the country.
Source : AXIOS