Cameron Hudson A few quick takes on Burhan’s UNGA speech today

I thought he did a good job describing RSF crimes, not just the rapes, killing and torture but the efforts to destroy the state: civil records, institutions, infrastructure–often overlooked
His call to designate RSF a terror group probably not going anywhere in DC or NY for many complicated reasons. Why not ask for assistance in defeating them instead or ask those supporting Hemeti to end it?
Correct to say that this isnt just a war between SAF and RSF. Its a war of the RSF against the state and its people, singling out cities across the country most hurt by RSF
He rightly points out the regional and international threats of the war continuing. As a threat to international peace and security he uses the UN’s own language, but doesnt go so far to call for a UN role
He presents a concise view of what a transition should look like. Western officials will view this as a commitment to hold him to, but he was too short on details and could have spoken more to the timeline from the military leaving power post-war
His appeal to Al-Hilu and Abdul Wahid and support for the JPA will also be well received by Western capitals who have been pushing for outreach to them
Interesting that he thanks/mentions: Libya, Egypt, Uganda, South Sudan, US, KSA, Kenya, IGAD as helpful actors
No mention of countries like Chad, hosting 500k Sudanese refugees, or CAR or UAE–all of whom are seen as backing the RSF now
Also not mentioned: any responsibility for transgressions of the SAF in the war or any recognition that they could have contributed to it
On the optics, it was clearly now a colossal mistake for Hemedti to pre-empt Burhan with his “speech”–Hemedti looked old, tired and sick, stuck in a bunker and swatting at flies and only made Burhan look more statesman-like.
Burhan was prepared, articulate and concise–something Sudanese diplomats have rarely been accused of. I suspect this speech wont do much to change the Sudanese view of him or the war, but I think it probably went a long way in the minds of Western and regional leaders in reassuring them that he is someone they can back in the near term at least. It will be interesting to see if these theatrics by both sides amount to any real changes on the ground or in the diplomacy in the days and weeks ahead.

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