Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are fully prepared for a ceasefire and to engage in comprehensive political talks for an end to its civil conflict with the army, RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo said in a rare video appearance on Thursday.
Dagalo, known as Hemedti, made the comments in a recorded video message addressed to the UN General Assembly and released by the RSF shortly before army leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan was due to give a speech to the assembly in New York.
Most of Hemedti’s recent communications have been audio messages, and his whereabouts have been a source of speculation since war between the army and the RSF erupted in mid-April.
In the video released on Thursday he appeared in military uniform, seated behind a desk with a Sudanese national flag behind him as he read out his speech. His location was not clear.
Previous assertions by the army and the RSF that they are seeking a solution to the conflict, as well as announcements of ceasefires by both sides, have failed to stop bloodshed and the deepening of a humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
More than 5 million people have been made homeless and thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, which broke out over plans to formally integrate the RSF into the army as part of a political transition.