Hemedti’s diplomacy sparks regional division over Sudan crisis

Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Commander Hemedti, accused of war crimes, plays a crucial role in Sudanese politics and holds strong regional ties. Engaging in shuttle diplomacy, he seeks leverage in peace negotiations with junta leader Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Recently welcomed in Nairobi by Kenyan President Ruto, Hemedti received a warm reception, with Ruto expressing appreciation for his commitment to ending the Sudan conflict. Ruto emphasized the importance of ongoing Igad-led ceasefire talks in achieving lasting peace, underscoring the pursuit of a peaceful solution for a stable neighbor.

President Ruto’s involvement in mediating the Sudan crisis has faced mixed reception. Initially accused by Gen Al-Burhan of bias towards Hemedti, their relations seemed to improve during a November 2023 visit to Nairobi, where they committed to dialogue through Igad and regional efforts. However, tensions resurfaced as Al-Burhan accused Ruto once more of favoritism, leading to the recall of Sudan’s ambassador to Kenya.