Sudanese social media platforms witnessed a state of controversy and division, after the Intergovernmental Authority for Development in East Africa (IGAD) invited the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as “Hemedti,” to attend its summit, and the Sudanese Foreign Ministry announced a “freeze in dealings” with it. Because of what it described as violations committed by the organization.
The Sudanese government had announced its refusal to participate in the 42nd extraordinary summit of IGAD. Because it does not see any need to hold a summit to discuss Sudan before implementing the outcomes of the previous summit.
We hope that Al-Burhan has a plan and solution to resolve this war, whether in war or peace, out of appreciation for the suffering of the people and to preserve what remains of this country. https://t.co/kTysw9IlSQ
— Moe Aldirdeery (@MoeAldirdeery) January 20, 2024
In its 42nd extraordinary summit, IGAD called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Sudan, and called on the parties to the conflict to engage in dialogue and negotiation to end the war.
The summit also called on the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces to hold a direct meeting within two weeks, to pave the way for concluding a political agreement, expressing its readiness to make efforts to facilitate a comprehensive peace process to end the conflict in Sudan.
With the Sudanese Foreign Ministry announcing a freeze on dealing with the organization, the most widespread question among the audience on social media platforms in Sudan was about the step taken by the Sudanese government: Is it correct or not?
Some observers described the decision as correct and decisive and that it came at the right time, due to the “unwise dealings of this organization towards Sudan, IGAD’s support for the rebel militia, its continued insistence on exceeding its role, and blatant interference in Sudanese affairs,” they said.
Sudan's decision to freeze its membership in the IGAD organization is a correct and decisive decision that came at the right time, after the unwise treatment of this organization towards Sudan, its support for the rebel militia with all brazenness and arrogance, its continued insistence on exceeding its role, and blatant interference in Sudanese affairs.#Sudan #Khartoum #kindling #IGAD pic.twitter.com/s9drlW2zUg
— AbdElbdie Osman (@AbdbdeaaOsman) January 20, 2024
While other activists believe that the organization is implementing an external “agenda” and does not want to end the war in Sudan, and that its decisions are not in the interest of the Sudanese people, but rather it wants to divide the country, as they describe it.
When it is honest and not affected by any external dictates or pressures
When its decisions are in the interest of the peoples of the countries concerned with their affairs, then participation and raising the issue is necessary
– Mustafa Hassan (@has39311) January 20, 2024
Bloggers were surprised by the organization's invitation to the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Hemedti, to the summit and his attendance, even though his forces committed many violations against the Sudanese people, especially when they entered the city of Wad Madani.
On the other hand, tweeters said that transgressions and errors cannot be addressed by freezing membership, and that there are other means and measures stipulated in the statute for the formation of the organization, and the matter must also be addressed diplomatically, pointing out that freezing membership will lead to results that are not in the interest of Sudanese affairs.
Tweeters commented on the organization's initiative by saying that it is a regional organization that includes important neighboring countries for Sudan, and Khartoum freezing its membership in it will affect the country and prolong the war there.
Others wondered about the solution in Sudan, with the fighting continuing for more than 9 months, and there is still no military resolution, or political solution negotiated between the two sides.
You are neither capable of a military solution nor satisfied with a negotiated solution
– Hossam Omar (@hoosam87b) January 20, 2024
For its part, the Forces of Freedom and Change welcomed the statement issued at the conclusion of the emergency meeting of leaders of IGAD countries in the Republic of Uganda on Thursday, January 18, 2024, and the decisions related to the Sudanese issue, and the renewal of the extraordinary summit with the continued role of (IGAD) in efforts to end the war and achieve peace, including by facilitating A Sudanese political process that ends with the formation of transitional democratic civil governance institutions.
The Forces of Freedom and Change expressed their regret over the decision of the Commander-in-Chief of the Sudanese Armed Forces to boycott the work of the summit, and in this context, they said, “We are still looking forward to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces responding to the call renewed by the IGAD Summit, which will stop the continued suffering of our people in war zones.” There is still a window of opportunity to end this war, and the first step is to agree on an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.”
The former Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok and the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti,” participated in the IGAD summit.
The summit was held under the chairmanship of Djibouti, which chairs the current session of IGAD, in the presence of the presidents of Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda, at the extraordinary summit held yesterday, Thursday, in the Ugandan city of Entebbe to discuss the situation in Sudan, and with the participation of the personal envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the envoys of the African Union, the Arab League, the United States and the European Union, And envoys from: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Emirates.
IGAD is a sub-regional African governmental organization, founded in 1996, with its headquarters in Djibouti, and includes: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, and South Sudan.