Sudan’s army chief, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, arrived in the Egyptian coastal town of El Alamein on Tuesday to meet with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, according to a military statement.
It was the first time Burhan had left Sudan since the start of the conflict with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on April 15.
Burhan, chairman of the ruling Sovereign Council, is meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on the latest developments in Sudan, the council said in a statement.
Egypt offered to mediate between Sudan’s warring factions, in a series of international efforts to prevent a prolonged civil war and the deepening of a humanitarian crisis.
Sudan plunged into chaos in mid-April when simmering tensions between the military, led by Burhan, and the powerful paramilitary, Rapid Support Forces, commanded by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, exploded into open fighting in the capital, Khartoum, and elsewhere.
The conflict has reduced the capital to an urban battlefield, with the RSF controlling vast swaths of the city. The military command, where Burhan has purportedly been stationed since April, has been one of the epicenters of the conflict.
Burhan managed last week to leave the military headquarters, where he has been stationed since the breakout of the conflict. He visited military facilities in Khartoum’s sister city of Omdurman and elsewhere in the country. Burhan traveled to Egypt from the coastal city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
Despite months of fighting, neither side has managed to gain control of the capital, Khartoum, or other key areas in the country. Last week, large explosions and plumes of black smoke could be seen above key areas of the capital, including near its airport.
Egypt has longstanding ties with the Sudanese army and its top generals. In July, El-Sisi hosted a meeting of Sudan’s neighbors and announced a plan for a cease-fire.
The conflict has turned Khartoum and other urban areas into battlefields. Many residents live without water and electricity, and the country’s health care system has nearly collapsed.
The sprawling region of Darfur saw some of the worst bouts of violence in the conflict, and the fighting there has morphed into ethnic clashes with RSF and allied Arab militia targeting ethnic African communities.
Clashes also intensified earlier this month in the provinces of South Kordofan and West Kordofan.
The fighting is estimated to have killed at least 4,000 people, according to the UN human rights office, though activists and doctors on the ground say the death toll is likely far higher.
More than 4.6 million people have been displaced, according to the UN migration agency. Those include over 3.6 million who fled to safer areas inside Sudan, and more than 1 million others who crossed into neighboring countries.