Sudan’s military ruler, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, arrived in Egypt on Tuesday, his first trip abroad since the outbreak of fighting in April between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
He met with key ally President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss the Egyptian leader’s offer to mediate in the ongoing conflict.
Burhan’s visit came as medics and witnesses said 39 civilians were killed in shelling in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state, where fighting between the two sides has intensified.
On Monday, the general said his forces faced "rebel groups who have committed war crimes in their attempt to seize power" and that he would never sign a deal with them.
But during talks in Egypt, he insisted the army wanted to see an end to the fighting.
"We in the armed forces are committed to setting a real transitional period in order for the Sudanese people to consolidate the state through free and fair elections that enable them to decide who will rule," he said.
In their meeting, Sisi's office said he had "reaffirmed Egypt's firm position in standing by Sudan and supporting its security, stability and territorial integrity".
Thousands of Sudanese have died and millions have been displaced in the war between Burhan and his former deputy-turned-rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the Rapid Support Forces.
Daglo on Sunday released a 10-point "vision" to end the war and build "a new state", with the plan calling for "civilian rule based on democratic norms" and "a single, professional, national military institution".
Before they turned on each other, Burhan had been backed by Daglo when he became Sudan's de facto ruler in a 2021 coup that derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule.
The coup upended a transition painstakingly negotiated between military and civilian leaders following the 2019 ouster of longtime autocrat, Omar al-Bashir.
Burhan's trip to Egypt follows multiple diplomatic efforts to end the fighting in Sudan, and a series of failed US- and Saudi-brokered ceasefires.