The African Union, which suspended the member state in 2021 after a coup, is seeking to bring an end to the ongoing war in the country Sudan’s army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. © Mahmoud Hjaj/Getty Images

Sudan’s army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has demanded reinstatement in the African Union (AU) in exchange for accepting a mediation mission to seek an end to the armed conflict that has raged in the North African country for nearly a year.

Burhan, who heads up the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), made the demand on Sunday when he met with a three-member AU panel established in January to facilitate a swift restoration of peace, constitutional order, and stability in Sudan, according to local media.

“Sudan has confidence in the AU’s potential solutions, but only if the state regains its full membership and the organization treats it as such,” the Sudan Tribune news agency quoted the army chief as declaring.

In October 2021, the pan-African body suspended the landlocked state from all activities after Burhan and the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), General Hamdane Daglo, who are now involved in a power struggle, overthrew Sudan’s civilian-led transitional authority.

The AU had said the suspension would remain in effect until the reinstatement of the civilian government, which has been sharing power with the army-led Sovereign Council since the ouster of Sudan’s longtime leader, Omar al-Bashir, in 2019. Burhan, the Sovereign Council’s leader, previously justified the 2021 coup by claiming that infighting between the military and civilian parties posed a threat to national stability.

On Sunday, Burhan said he dissolved the military-civilian cooperation deal due to an inability to reach a consensus on elections.

Land of War: Two generals clash in the heart of Africa, should the world prepare for the worst? Land of War: Two generals clash in the heart of Africa, should the world prepare for the worst?

Heavy fighting broke out between the SAF and the RSF in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum in mid-April of last year over the planned integration of the paramilitary force into the national armed forces. Such a merger is a crucial requirement outlined in the country’s transition agreement, which was initially planned for April, prior to the outbreak of the war.

Last Friday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said the warring factions have killed “seemingly without remorse” at least 14,600 people and injured 26,000 others in 11 months of hostilities across Sudan.

“Actual figures are undoubtedly much higher,” Turk said, adding that “almost half of the population – 25 million people – are in urgent need of food and medical aid.” (RT)