Sudan has recalled its ambassador in Kenya “for consultations”, Sudan’s foreign ministry has said.
The move on Thursday followed the reception granted to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) leader, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, known as Hemedti, in Kenya.
On Wednesday, Nairobi unfurled a scarlet welcome mat, warmly receiving General Hemedti at the presidential pavilion.
The move sparked angry responses from social media users who support the military.
Gen. Daglo, whose forces have been at war with the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan since April, has been touring African countries on his first visit abroad. He already visited Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti as well as Kenya and is currently in South Africa.
In a statement to the official SUNA news agency, Sudan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Al-Sadiq said Ambassador Kamal Jabbara had been recalled “in protest against the official reception granted by the Kenyan government for the militia leader during his visit, forgetting the terrible violations committed by his disbanded forces and the destruction they caused to the infrastructure and citizens’ property.”
The Sudanese minister pointed out that the consultations with the ambassador to Kenya will cover all possibilities regarding Sudan’s relations with Kenya, which he said has been hosting rebels since the outbreak of the war.
The Sudanese military leadership has repeatedly accused President William Ruto of siding with Gen. Hemedti because of their past friendship. The Kenyan president insists he is neutral in the Sudan conflict.
Conflict between the Sudanese army and RSF erupted on April 15, 2023. While fighting has been chiefly concentrated in the country’s capital, Khartoum, the conflict has impacted other regions. In Darfur, mass killings and displacement have led to reports of ethnic cleansing.
Over 12,000 people have been killed, with about 5.9 million displaced within the country, making it the largest internal displacement crisis globally. More than 7.2 million people have fled their homes, taking refuge inside and outside the country, with children representing about half of the people displaced.
Sudan is now the country with the largest number of displaced people and the largest child displacement crisis in the world.