Sudan has recalled its ambassador to Kenya in protest against the warm reception given to Sudanese paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo by Kenyan President William Ruto.
Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Al Sadiq confirmed the summoning of Kamal Gubara in protest against the Kenyan government’s official reception Wednesday for Dagalo, popularly known as Hemeti, who heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Quoting Al Sadiq, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) highlighted the significance of the move, saying “the consultation with their ambassador will cover all possibilities for the outcome of Sudan’s relations with Kenya.”
Kenya said the meeting between Ruto and Dagalo was aimed at fostering lasting peace in Sudan, which has been facing clashes between the Sudanese army and the RSF since mid-April 2023.
According to the UN, the conflict has resulted in the loss of at least 12,000 lives, with more than 33,000 people sustaining injuries.
Dagalo’s visit to Nairobi is part of a broader regional tour that has seen him engage with leaders in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda in recent weeks. He is currently in South Africa.
Dagalo said in a statement Thursday following a meeting in Pretoria with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that he had briefed Ramaphosa on the “considerable efforts taken to end this war.”
“I emphasised our unwavering commitment to cease hostilities,” Dagalo said, although he didn’t say if or when he would meet with Burhan.
Dagalo also said he was committed to a ceasefire to end the devastating war, even as fighting continues and there has been no progress on proposed peace talks between Dagalo and Sudan military chief General Abdel Fattah Burhan.
The warring generals agreed last month to a face-to-face meeting and to start talks over a possible ceasefire, according to the East African regional bloc IGAD. No date or location for the talks have been announced.
The RSF leader’s diplomatic engagements have drawn mixed reactions, particularly due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan.