28 February 2024 06:08 PM

Egypt and the Sudanese crisis

Monday، 17 April 2023 - 09:57 PM

Clashes broke out between Sudan’s military and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15, 2023 in Khartoum and elsewhere. The clashes came as tensions between the Army and the Rapid Support Forces escalated in recent months.

On April 15, 2023, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received a phone call from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres. The President expressed Egypt's deep concern about the developments in Sudan, following the ongoing clashes. The President emphasized the gravity of the negative repercussions of these developments on the stability of Sudan that is going through a critical historical moment, which requires the utmost wisdom and self-restraint, and called on the Sudanese parties to prioritise dialogue and national consensus and to uphold the supreme interests of the Sudanese people. Mr. Guterres affirmed his keenness to communicate with the President in light of Egypt's active and pivotal role in maintaining security and stability in the region, especially supporting the transitional path in Sudan. He called on all Sudanese parties to stop hostilities, restore calm, and start dialogue to resolve the current crisis. He noted that the escalation of the fighting will have catastrophic effects on civilians and exacerbate the dire humanitarian situation in the country.

The Egyptian Armed Forces urged on Saturday 15/4/2023 for "the safeguarding of the safety and security of Egyptian troops who were in Sudan to conduct joint training with their Sudanese counterparts." In a statement, the Egyptian Armed Forces said it “is closely following up on the events taking place inside Sudan” following the eruption of clashes between the Sudanese Army forces (SAF) and the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since early Saturday. The Egyptian Armed Forces “is coordinating with the concerned parties in Sudan to ensure securing the Egyptian troops who were conducting joint training with their Sudanese counterparts,” the statement added without adding more details.

In a statement on Saturday 15/04/2023, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Egypt is closely following up the development in Sudan. Egypt called on all Sudanese parties to exercise highest level of self-restraint to protect the Sudanese people and heed their country's interests.

The Egyptian embassy in Khartoum has urged expatriates in Sudan to exercise maximum caution by staying away from the areas of ongoing fighting and refrain from unnecessary movements until the situation stabilises. In a statement on Saturday 15/4/2023, the embassy said that it is in communication with Egyptian citizens and students who are residing in Sudan to provide them with all necessary support.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received on Saturday 15/4/2023 a phone call from Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to consult and coordinate on the current developments in Sudan, Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement. Shoukry briefed the EU official on Egypt's efforts to halt the ongoing violence, as well as its call on all parties to exercise restraint and put an end to armed confrontations to avoid bloodshed and preserve the capabilities of the brotherly Sudanese people. Borrell emphasized the European Union's support for Egypt in these efforts, as well as its eagerness to cooperate with Cairo in the coming months to put an end to the current military operations in Sudan and avoid further worsening in the security situation.

Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Ambassador Hossam Zaki has announced that Egypt and Saudi Arabia are calling for an urgent meeting of the Arab League Council at the level of permanent delegates on Sunday to discuss the situation in Sudan.

On April 16, 2023, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received a phone call from President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir. The call focused on the latest developments in Sudan, in light of the historical bonds and outstanding fraternal relations between the three countries, as well as the role of Egypt and South Sudan in supporting Sudan’s stability and safety. The two Presidents underscored the gravity of the current situation and the ongoing military clashes, reiterating full support for the brotherly Sudanese people and their aspirations for achieving security, stability and peace. President El-Sisi and President Kiir called for an immediate cease-fire in Sudan, urging all parties to calm down, let the voice of wisdom and peaceful dialogue prevail, and uphold the supreme interest of the Sudanese people. They expressed Egypt and South Sudan’s readiness to mediate between the Sudanese parties, as the escalation of violence will only lead to more deterioration of the situation, which could spiral out of control. The two Presidents emphasized that solidifying security and stability is the key guarantor for completing the trajectory of political transition and realizing construction and development in Sudan.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry made a phone call on Sunday 16/4/2023 to his Sudanese counterpart Ali al-Sadeq to check on the current developments in the neighboring country and efforts deployed to end the crisis. Minister Shoukry expressed Egypt's deep concern about the continuation of the ongoing armed confrontations, which pose a threat to the security and safety of the Sudanese people and the stability of its state. The minister also informed Minister Sadeq of the Egyptian-Saudi call for an emergency meeting at the Arab League (AL) on the level of permanent representatives. Minister Shoukry stipulated the Egyptian stance that always advocates the unity and safety of Sudan and the preservation of the wealth of its people, and that rejects any foreign interventions that would exacerbate the conflict. The Egyptian minister listened to the Sudanese minister's evaluation of the circumstances on the ground, and was briefed on the ongoing regional and international efforts targeting to contain the crisis. The two ministers also discussed the conditions of Egyptian expats in Sudan, and the salience of ensuring their safety amid the deteriorating security conditions in the country.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry made a phone call on Sunday 16/4/2023 to Chairman of the African Union Commission Mousa Faki to discuss the ongoing developments in Sudan. Minister Shoukry informed the AUC chairman of the efforts made by Egypt in collaboration with Saudi Arabia at the Arab League (AL) by calling for an emergency meeting at the level of permanent representatives in order to resolve the crisis. The minister presented the outcomes and recommendations of the meeting, which urged a ceasefire, as well as the calls Egypt is making with Sudanese parties to achieve a ceasefire, including that made to the Sudanese foreign minister. The call also tackled the session scheduled for today at the AU Peace and Security Council to discuss the situation in Sudan, where the Egyptian minister stressed concerting efforts to maintain the stability and safety of Sudan and its people. In that context, Shoukry and Faki agreed to continue coordination and consultation in the coming days to follow up on the crisis updates, and containment efforts. 

The Arab League (AL) held on Sunday 16/4/2023 an emergency meeting in Cairo where representatives of Arab states discussed the ongoing military clashes in Sudan. The Arab delegates urged the Sudanese parties to return to the peaceful path to resolve the crisis, warning against the dangers of violent escalation. The meeting, called for by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, came a day after clashes erupted between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), following days of tension over the RSF's integration into the army. For his part, Obaida El-Dandarawy, the official in charge of the AL affairs at Egypt's Foreign Ministry, said that "Egypt confirms and reiterates its genuine commitment to supporting the stability and territorial integrity of Sudan."

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