Sudan’s Agar rejects government participation in Jeddah Talks

General Malik Agar has stated that the government will not participate in negotiations with the RSF in the Jeddah Forum concerning the ongoing war in the country.

Sudan’s Vice President of the Sovereign Council, General Malik Agar, has firmly stated that the government will not participate in negotiations with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the Jeddah Forum concerning the ongoing war in the country.

Speaking at a community reconciliation and peace conference held in Port Sudan on Wednesday, Agar said, “We will not go to Jeddah because we went there before, and nothing happened.”

He added, “I am the second-highest official in the state, and I am telling you that we did not agree to participate in the Jeddah negotiations. Blinken called Burhan and ordered him to go to Jeddah for negotiations. I want to clarify that we do not accept being treated with contempt.”

Agar emphasized, “The peace process should be discussed with us before demanding we go to Jeddah.”

In response, Misbah Ahmed, a leading member of the Coordination of Civil Democratic Forces, a Sudanese umbrella group also known as Taqaddum, told Radio Tamazuj, “Malik Agar’s statement lacks prudence and prioritizing the suffering of Sudanese people, whether on an external or internal platform.”

He added, “The Jeddah Forum received a significant amount of support from the Sudanese people and the international community, with considerable efforts made to advance negotiations between the warring parties on humanitarian issues and arrangements to stop the war.”

Ahmed continued, “Any talk of reneging on the progress made is like pouring fuel on the fire and shows a lack of responsibility towards the suffering of war-affected Sudanese.”

He questioned why Agar, who came to power through negotiations in an external forum and has long engaged in negotiations through external platforms while bearing arms against the state, now rejects the Jeddah forum and adopts extreme positions that exacerbate Sudanese suffering.

Political analyst Tarig Osman viewed Agar’s remarks as less a repudiation and more a sign of confusion within the country’s political leadership, considering the current internal and external push towards negotiations.

Osman added, “Experience and the history of wars in Sudan show that no crisis will be resolved without sitting at the negotiation table and agreeing on contentious issues.” He concluded, “I believe the Vice President’s statements were ill-advised, as the situation is becoming increasingly complex daily, and relying on military solutions alone cannot resolve this crisis.”

Agar’s statements followed a phone call on Tuesday from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Sudan’s Sovereign Council Chairman General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, urging him to attend the Jeddah forum for negotiations.

The Jeddah forum, mediated by Saudi Arabia and the United States, aims to reach a ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The conflict between the SAF and the RSF, which began on April 15, 2023, has resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions of Sudanese within and outside the country. Several local, regional, and international initiatives have failed to mediate an end to the war between the two parties.