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Sudan's Al-Burhan heads first cabinet meeting since conflict erupted

Head the Sudan Armed Forces, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan attends a cabinet meeting in Port Sudan on Aug. 28, 2023.   -  
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The head of Sudan's army Abdel Fattah Burhan met on Monday with members of the government for the first time since the conflict with a rival general erupted in mid-April.

Sudan was plunged into chaos after monthslong tensions between the military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, exploded into open fighting on April 15.

The deadly conflict has disrupted key sectors including health and food; but that shall 'soon end', the information minister vowed.

“The effort exerted in the various productive sectors, whether the agricultural or mineral sectors, must be preserved and doubled in production for the benefit of all Sudanese. I affirmed at the end of the meeting that the rebellion (the Rapid Support Forces) is in decline and that victory is very close."

Burhan on Monday also made a rare public speech in his first tour outside of the capital since the conflict began.

In the eastern coastal city of Port Sudan, where the meeting was also held, Burhan said a military operation that included naval and air forces enabled him to leave the capital's army headquarters safely.

Two people were killed in the operation, he said.

The conflict has reduced the capital to an urban battlefield, with the RSF controlling vast swaths of the city.

The military command, where Burhan has purportedly been stationed since April, has been one of the epicenters of the conflict, besieged by RSF forces.

The violence in the northeast African country is estimated to have killed at least 4,000 people, according to Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the U.N. human rights office.

However, activists and doctors on the ground say the death toll is likely far higher.

In a statement issued late Sunday, Dagalo unveiled a new initiative that could restart peace talks between the two forces.

The 10-point plan titled “Sudan Reborn,” calls for a lasting cease-fire, democratic elections and a unified army.

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