The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of Sudan have announced that they will move the Egyptian troops that were present at Merowe airport during the recent fighting to Khartoum. The RSF has stated that the Egyptian forces will be handed over to Cairo once the situation allows it. The announcement comes after clashes broke out between the Sudanese armed forces and the RSF on Saturday. The RSF shared a video that showed Egyptian troops who had surrendered to them in the northern town of Merowe. The video showed a group of men dressed in army fatigues speaking to members of the RSF in an Egyptian Arabic dialect.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has stated that the Egyptian troops held in Sudan were there to conduct exercises with their Sudanese counterparts and not to support any of the warring parties. Fighting between the military and the RSF has raged for five days, with air raids and shelling rocking the capital after the failure of a United States-brokered ceasefire. The warring sides have accused each other of breaking the truce. The RSF has announced that it is committed to a 24-hour ceasefire starting at 6 pm, but it is not clear whether the army will announce its own commitment to the ceasefire.
The violence erupted across Sudan on Saturday between the forces of two generals who seized power in a 2021 coup: army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, better known by his nickname Hemedti, who commands the RSF. It followed a bitter dispute between them over the planned integration of the RSF into the regular army – a key condition for a final deal aimed at restoring Sudan’s democratic transition. The fighting has killed at least 270 people and wounded more than 12,600, according to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The widespread power and water outages have put many hospitals out of service, and thousands have begun leaving their homes in the capital. In a speech broadcast by Egyptian state television after Abdel Fattah el-Sisi chaired a meeting of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces on Monday, the president said he is in contact with the RSF to ensure the safety of Egyptian soldiers in Sudan. El-Sisi also said Egypt was in regular contact with the Sudanese army and the RSF to “encourage them to accept a ceasefire and spare the blood of the Sudanese people”.
In conclusion, the situation in Sudan remains tense, with fighting continuing between the military and the RSF. The presence of Egyptian troops in Sudan has added another layer of complexity to an already volatile situation. The RSF’s announcement that they will move the Egyptian troops to Khartoum is a significant development, but it remains to be seen when this will happen. The international community has called for an immediate end to the violence and for all parties to engage in dialogue to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.