Sudan crisis: President Ruto says Kenya pursuing dialogue, mediation

President William Ruto

President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi, on February 9, 2023. The President  has formally appointed all 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries who had been nominated for the positions.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

Following the outbreak of clashes in Sudan on Saturday, Kenyan President William Ruto has urged a peaceful solution and said he is consulting regional leaders and the international community on dialogue and mediation.

Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces, the paramilitary unit that often runs a parallel command system but says it plays alongside the army, clashed with the country’s army, leading to fears of a third coup in four years.

The RSF is led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, the deputy leader of the Sovereignty Council, the definitive leadership organ of the junta led by Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The two wings of Sudan’s security component have had a long running dispute that revolves primarily around their respective gains in the post-overthrow era of former Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s longtime ruler jettisoned in April 2019. Their tiff is also linked to the personal competition between army chief al-Burhan, and RSF.

In his statement on the matter, President Ruto said Kenya is concerned as "the outbreak of violence will only reverse the gains Sudan has made to the detriment of its lasting peace and prosperity".

He wrote on Twitter:

He added: 

Several other leaders have issued statements on the developments in Sudan, among them US Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development; and Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission.

They have all urged an immediate end to the fighting, as well as peaceful solutions, to keep Suday from wasting the progress it has made in resolving outstanding isssues following al-Bashir's ouster.

Meanwhile, three Sudanese civilians were killed as the fighting raged between the regular army and paramilitaries in Khartoum and other cities, quoting the doctors' union said. 

In a statement on Facebook, the medics said "two people were killed in Khartoum airport" and another person was killed in El Obeid, in North Kordofan state, south of the capital

It added that at least nine other people were wounded in the clashes, including an army officer in Khartoum's sister city of Omdurman. 

Earlier, Dagalo vowed hat his fighters will keep on fighting until "all army bases are captured."

"We will not stop fighting until we capture all the army bases and the honourable members of the armed forces join us," Daglo told Al Jazeera.