An emergency meeting was held by the Arab League (AL) in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the ongoing military clashes in Sudan, which have led to the death of at least 83 people. Sudan’s representative to the AL, Al-Sadiq Omar Abdullah, stated that efforts were being made to determine the cause of the conflict, as tension had escalated between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over the RSF’s integration into the army. Abdullah called for Arab states to mediate for a peaceful resolution in Sudan, “away from international interventions.” The AL council also stressed the immediate need for a ceasefire of all armed clashes to protect the civilians and territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sudan.
China called for an end to fighting and urged the parties to increase dialogue and move forward with the political transition process. Sudan has been ruled by a transitional government since former President Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power in a popular revolution in 2019. Tensions between the military and civilian groups have characterized much of the post-al-Bashir period, leading to another military takeover in October 2021 that ousted the civilian leader from a power-sharing government, leaving a political vacuum to be filled. The RSF’s growing size has long been a source of concern for the military leadership, who, along with civilian representatives, have called for the group’s integration into the regular armed forces. The power struggle may be the immediate reason for the conflict, but behind it is a complicated history, which also involves the issue of the Darfur region. External interference has been warned against.