Sudan's General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan listens to the national anthem after landing in the military airport of Port Sudan on his first trip away following the crisis in Sudan's capital Kharto
Sudan's military ruler, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, dashed expectations of peace talks in an address to soldiers on Monday, calling the opposing paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) "traitors" and predicting a decisive victory.
Since the war between the army and the RSF began in April, millions of people have been displaced, and a humanitarian crisis has erupted. Several discussions have failed to bring the violence to a halt.
"We do not make deals with traitors, we do not make deals with anyone who has betrayed the Sudanese people," Burhan told cheering soldiers at the Flamingo Base in Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
His address came a day after the RSF's leader declared openness to talks and a long-term ceasefire, and days after Burhan left Khartoum for the first time since the war began.
Since deposing Omar al-Bashir in 2019, the two forces have shared authority and blame one other for initiating the war, which erupted amid attempts to combine their troops into a unified force as part of a democratic transition.
Burhan has begun a tour of army-controlled locations and is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia and Egypt, prompting some to think that a deal was imminent.
"We are dedicating all of our time to this war... to ending this rebellion," Burhan stated, vowing a speedy and decisive victory, echoing past military leadership remarks.
The RSF "are completely exhausted - just a little effort and they will be finished," he claimed.
Burhan denied that his men had received foreign support and said that his departure from the city was due to a military operation involving the air force and navy, in which two soldiers died.
In recent weeks, the army has repelled a furious RSF offensive on the Armoured Corps installation in southern Khartoum, one of the army's few remaining strongholds in the capital, the other being the army headquarters where Burhan was stationed.
According to activists, the siege has resulted in civilian casualties and has shut off people's access to electricity and water, making it harder for them to evacuate.
The two factions have also fought bitterly for control of Nyala in South Darfur state, with activists reporting dozens of civilians dead and humanitarian agencies stating that the city has been shut off from aid and utilities.