A Sudanese general rejected in threatening language a Kenyan-led proposal that East African peacekeepers help end a more than 100-day war in Sudan in a video released on Monday, drawing sharp criticism from Kenyan authorities.
Earlier this month, IGAD, an East African regional bloc of which Kenya is a member, proposed an initiative that would include the deployment of peacekeepers in the capital Khartoum.
The Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces it is fighting have received multiple international mediation offers, but none have succeeded in ending or even significantly pausing the fighting that broke out on April 15.
The Sudanese army has repeatedly rejected the Kenyan-led initiative, accusing the regional power of supporting the RSF.
It has said it would consider any foreign peacekeepers as enemy forces.
“Leave the East African forces where they are. Bring the Kenyan army … I swear to god, not one of them would make it back,” said Sudanese General Yassir al-Atta in comments to troops.
He also accused Kenya of being bought off by a third country, which he did not identify.
“This statement is unworthy of our comment,” Kenya’s foreign affairs principal secretary Korir Sing’Oei said. The accusations were unfounded, he said, and that his country was neutral.
“By insisting that durable peace will only be realised through the inclusion of civilian actors in any mediation process and calling on accountability for atrocities, some in Sudan may find these principles difficult to accept,” he added.
The fighting in Khartoum State continued on Monday. A neighbourhood committee in Ombada said at least 15 people had been killed in strikes in Omdurman.
In the Kalakla area in southern Khartoum, the local committee said that RSF forces had besieged the area.