Opinion

This is the Anticipated Hope

By Osman Merghani

“Al-Sharq” channel consistent statements reported that the Saudi-American mediation is preparing to resume the Jeddah Platform negotiations between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). It is known that these negotiations succeeded in signing two documents in May 2023, then stopped after the last round in October-November 2023 with commitments from both parties to build confidence, and after three months had passed, no party had fulfilled them.
The IGAD organization entered the line and tried to hold a direct face-to-face meeting between the commanders of the army and the (RSF), but it failed and reached a deadlock after Sudan announced that it would refrain from dealing in the peace dossier with IGAD before President Burhan sent a letter to the head of the IGAD organization, announcing the freeze of Sudan’s membership.
Now it seems that the Saudi-American bilateral mediation has realized that it is the only one capable of dealing with the Sudanese crisis dossier seriously and that it has become the only hope for a peaceful solution. What are the chances of the Jeddah platform?
The basic dilemma facing the Sudanese peace negotiations is the reflection of the military situation on the negotiations. The RSF is trying to buy time to expand geographically, and the army, which relies on long-term warfare, is trying to drag the battle to the stage of total exhaustion, which makes the RSF collapse completely with the loss of its human and armament forces.
If the mediation tries to rely on the will for peace, the wait will be long, and unfortunately the night of suffering for the Sudanese people, who pay the bill for this war with their blood, property, and more, will also be long.
It is wise for the Saudi-American mediation to put everyone under the test: either peace will save Sudan from scenarios of collapse and division, or all the parties, both military and political, will bear the consequences of prolonging the war.
It is in the hands of mediation to determine the parameters of the negotiating playing field.The Sudanese army is the legitimate force that the world and the United Nations recognize as having a monopoly on the right to protect the Sudanese state and guard stability and security, like all countries of the world that do not accept their armies being disputed regarding their mandate and legitimacy.
The RSF, which is called “Support”, are forces that were operating in accordance with a law passed by the Sudanese Parliament in 2017 to be “Support” for the legitimate force, which is the army. There is no room for accepting the supporting branch force turning against the original national army, which is approaching a hundred years old.
Therefore, the terms of the final agreement become more than clear. The RSF must agree to lay down its weapons and begin integration procedures into the national army according to military arrangements that could be the subject of negotiation – not the continuation of the war.
According to this logic, the negotiations are limited to the ceasefire process and the assembly of the RSF in camps outside the cities, while providing guarantees that they will not be targeted, and civil life returns to its normal context by evicting all public civilian headquarters and citizens’ homes until an agreement is reached that includes the required compensation for the state and citizens.
In short, these measures mean withdrawing legitimacy from the RSF, given that they are fighting legitimate, internationally recognized forces.

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