Be Flexible

Since April 15, 2023, the Sudanese capital Khartoum, has been transformed to a war zone. So far, thousands have been killed, millions displaced and enormous material damaged. While some members of the international community have condemned the violent crisis, Saudi Arabia and the US have not only condemned, but have taken several initiatives to bring the crisis to a halt. More than twice, they have gathered the warring parties to Jeddah to seek agreement on a ceasefire. But these attempts have been meaningless as none of the protagonists is ready to make concessions leaving all the mediators in dilemma. Though throughout the different rounds of negotiations, the agenda has centered on humanitarian ceasefire, a monitoring mechanism and corridors for aid, neither side wants to open negotiations towards a political agreement. It is true that, it will not be easy to get the two Generals to agree to any kind of ceasefire or agreement because, the Army Chief, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, will insist that he represents the legitimate government. He will label Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo as a rebel. Hemedti, his de facto deputy until the clashes, will demand equal status for the two sides. This argument might go on for days or weeks without any of them changing their positions. 
Getting a compromise entails hard bargaining with the generals. The mediators need to gain their confidence and assure them that, if they make concessions, it will not leave them exposed and vulnerable. Top among the concessions would be for them to accept a democratic government which had been on the cards before the fighting began. A democratic government is the trump card to salvage the country from state collapse with both SAF and RSF emerging from the war weakened even if one of the two par¬ties succeeds. The sooner they realize they are in a strategic stalemate, the sooner they could gear up for serious peace talks. Since, neither the SAF nor the RSF are adequately prepared for extended urban warfar...

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