Sudan’s army chief has ruled out any talks with the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), while pledging to defeat them through a decisive victory.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan's Monday remarks came following several months of intense fighting between the two sides, dashing hopes that the war-ravaged country could witness a ceasefire anytime soon.
"We do not make deals with traitors, we do not make deals with anyone who has betrayed the Sudanese people," Burhan told cheering soldiers at the Flamingo Base in Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast.
The conflict, which has so far killed thousands of people, erupted in mid-April after tensions heightened between the two sides over a power struggle between Burhan and his former deputy, who now commands the RSF, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.
"We are dedicating all our time to this war ... to ending this rebellion," Burhan said, claiming that the RSF members "are completely exhausted; just a little effort and they will be finished."
His speech came just a day after the head of the RSF reportedly expressed openness to talks and a long-term ceasefire, and after Burhan emerged from the capital Khartoum for the first time since the war broke out.
He denied that his troops had received any foreign assistance, saying that his exit from the capital was thanks to a military operation involving the air force and navy, and that two soldiers had died in the process.
More than four million people have been displaced as a result of the surge in violence, including nearly one million who have fled to neighboring countries.
Earlier this month, the United Nations warned that millions of people across Sudan were running out of food and were on the brink of famine.
”Time is running out for farmers to plant the crops that will feed them and their neighbors. Medical supplies are scarce. The situation is spiraling out of control,” UN agencies said in a joint statement on August 15.