Norway says path to peace in Sudan is ‘really difficult’

By Gwladys Fouche

OSLO (Reuters) – The prospect of peace in Sudan appears remote, with the next, tangible step towards ending the war between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army difficult to identify, Norway’s international development minister said.

    The conflict erupted in April 2023 over a plan for political transition away from military rule. The war has forced 7.5 million people to flee – making Sudan the biggest displacement crisis worldwide.

    Norway is part of a group together with the United States and Britain, called the Troika, seeking to steer Western policy on Sudan.

    The Nordic country had been trying, like others, to promote negotiations, including via a humanitarian conference on Sudan held in Cairo in November, according to Norway’s Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

    “We were able to get some organisations, some voices from Sudan to Egypt to discuss the way forward,” she told Reuters this week. “But identifying the next, tangible steps towards peace is really difficult.”

    She said the parties had to stop the violence and “open up a political space where we can help them start a dialogue”.

    As a member of the Troika, Norway felt a certain obligation to assist wherever it could, she said, adding it was “critical” to prepare for a possible return of civilian rule via an “inclusive political process”.

    “The solution to the conflict must be found within the country and the region,” she said.

Tvinnereim was speaking after Sudan said last week it was suspending its membership of IGAD, a group of east African nations that had sought to broker talks between the heads of the RSF and the army.

The negotiations broke down when IGAD said it had invited RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, to attend an IGAD meeting in Uganda.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)