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Sudan’s Burhan to visit Qatar as part of regional tour: official

The UN warned that humanitarian needs in Sudan “are at an all-time high”, with 24.7 million people in need of assistance and protection.

Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan is scheduled to visit Qatar in the coming days as part of a regional tour, Doha’s foreign ministry spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday.

“Al Burhan is on a tour to a number of countries and Qatar is among his destinations,” the Gulf state’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Majed Al Ansari told a weekly press briefing, as quoted by Al Araby Al Jadeed.

Sudanese sources cited by a separate Al Jazeera report on Dr. Al Ansari’s remarks said Burhan is expected to land in Doha on Thursday.

The top Sudanese official’s visit to Doha would mark his first trip to the Gulf region since the war broke out between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, widely known as Hemedti.

The months-long conflict has devastated Khartoum and other major cities around the country, leading to an estimated death toll of 4,000 people and displacing 4.8 million people. Nearly five months on, the war has reduced Khartoum to a ghost town.

In recent weeks, Sudanese parties and officials have scrambled for an end to the war after more than 10 ceasefire attempts failed to temporarily halt the fighting.

While Qatar has contributed with various humanitarian initiatives since the beginning of the war, Dr. Al Ansari said he was unaware of any mediation requests.

“Qatari-Sudanese relations have always been characterised by continuous communication, and visits of this kind are not surprising,” Dr. Al Ansari told the press, renewing Doha’s support for a ceasefire in Khartoum.

Last month, Burhan travelled to Egypt to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on his first foreign trip since the war broke out. Discussions at the time were centred on developments on the ground in Sudan.

FFC’s Doha visit

News of Burhan’s anticipated visit to Qatar comes just days after a delegation from Sudan’s Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) concluded a six-day visit to the Gulf state. 

The Sudanese delegation met with top Qatari officials, including Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

According to the FFC’s final statement, Qatar had reportedly expressed its readiness to contribute to rebuilding Sudan and renewed its support for all efforts aimed at halting the fatal conflict.

The FFC also travelled to Egypt in July for peace talks that gathered Sudan’s neighbouring countries-Ethiopia, South Sudan, Chad, Eritrea, the Central African Republic and Libya – where the participating parties agreed on a new Egyptian-led initiative.

However, there have been no updates on the Egyptian attempt to end the war.

Meanwhile, internal displacements in Sudan have nearly doubled since the start of the conflict, the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

The UN agency warned that humanitarian needs “are at an all-time high”, with 24.7 million people in need of assistance and protection.

“The people of Sudan deserve peace. Any further escalation of violence would further devastate the country and the region,” Federico Soda, IOM Director of the Department of Operations and Emergencies, said in a statement.