PORT SUDAN-Sudan’s army chief travelled Tuesday to Egypt on his first trip abroad since the outbreak of war in April, with the latest violence killing dozens of civilians in battle-scarred Darfur.
As Abdel Fattah al-Burhan departed, medics and witnesses said 39 civilians were killed, most of them women and children, in shelling of Nyala, Sudan’s second city in South Darfur state where fighting between the army and paramilitary forces has intensified. The Sudanese general was to hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a key ally, on the developments in war-ravaged Sudan and bilateral ties, Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council said.
Burhan, dressed in civilian clothes rather his trademark military fatigues, was seen boarding a plane in Port Sudan and later being greeted by Sisi on the tarmac at El Alamein airport in videos released by the council. The war between Burhan and his former deputy turned rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has raged since April 15. It has spread from Khartoum and the western region of Darfur to Kordofan and Jazira state, killing thousands and forcing millions to flee their homes. For months, the RSF had besieged Burhan inside military headquarters in Khartoum, but last week the army chief made his first public foray outside the compound to review troops in parts of the country.