Sudan on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Kenya in protest against the official reception for Commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the official SUNA news agency reported.
"Sudan has recalled its ambassador to Nairobi for consultations, in protest against the official reception organized by the Kenyan government for the commander of the rebel militia when he visited Kenya Yesterday (Wednesday)," Sudan's acting Foreign Minister Ali Al-Sadiq was quoted as saying in a statement.
"Nairobi has forgotten the terrible violations committed by the rebel forces, and the destruction they caused to the country's infrastructure, capabilities, and citizens' property," Al-Sadiq said.
The Sudanese top diplomat also accused Kenya of supporting and hosting the rebel leaders and supporters, "in addition to conspiring with hostile regional powers against Sudan."
On Wednesday, Kenyan President William Ruto received Dagalo in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, as part of Dagalo's external tour which included Uganda, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
Ties between Burhan and the Kenyan government have been strained for months, as Nairobi has sought to keep lines of communication open with Dagalo so it can mediate in the conflict.
In a January 1 address, Chairman of Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council and General Commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan warned Sudan's neighboring countries against supporting the RSF. "I am sending a message to the countries which welcome these killers to stop interfering in our affairs, because providing any support to the leadership of the rebel group is considered partnership in crime and in killing and destroying the people of Sudan."
Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the SAF and the RSF since April 15. More than 12,000 people have been killed in the fighting, according to a statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in early December.
UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths on Thursday also warned that across Sudan, nearly 25 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2024.
(With input from Xinhua)
(Cover: Sudanese wave weapons and chant slogans as they drive down a street to express their support for the Army in Gadaref city in war-torn Sudan on December 29, 2023. /CFP)