The Intergovernmental Authority for East African Development called on (IGAD) to an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in SudanIt also called on the parties to the conflict to commit to dialogue and negotiations.
This came during the extraordinary summit held yesterday, Thursday, in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, to discuss the situation in Sudan, as well as the crisis between Somalia and Ethiopia, following the latter’s signing of an agreement with the separatist Somaliland region that provides it with a maritime outlet.
The summit was held under the chairmanship of Djibouti, which chairs the current session of IGAD, and in the presence of the presidents of Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.
The summit 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. The summit, on the other hand, called on both Ethiopia and Somalia to calm tensions and enter into a constructive dialogue. .
For his part, the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, Mohamed Hamdan Hemedti, said after his participation in the extraordinary IGAD summit that the summit – which discussed how to stop the war in Sudan – was an opportunity to provide a detailed explanation to the heads of state of the organization regarding the reasons for the outbreak of the crisis in Sudan, and to learn about the vision of the leaders. For a negotiation process to reach a comprehensive peace that addresses the roots of the crisis and lays the foundation for building a better future for Sudan.
Freeze the deal
Last Tuesday, the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a “freeze in dealing” with the Intergovernmental Authority for Development in East Africa, due to what it described as violations committed by the organization by including the situation in Sudan on the agenda of the extraordinary summit without consulting Khartoum, as well as by inviting the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, “Hemedti.” To attend the summit.
A few days before that, Khartoum announced its refusal to participate in the summit, according to a statement it issued Transitional Sovereignty Council – headed by Army Commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan – that the Government of Sudan received an invitation from IGAD to attend the summit that will be held in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to discuss the Somali problem and what is going on in Sudan, but it does not see any need to hold a summit to discuss Sudan’s issue before implementing the outcomes of the previous summit.
It is noteworthy that IGAD is a sub-regional African governmental organization founded in 1996, with its headquarters in Djibouti, and includes countries from East Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan.
Since mid-April 2023, the Sudanese army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo – who was Vice-President of the Sovereignty Council – have been fighting a war that has left more than 12,000 dead and more than 7 million displaced and refugees, according to the United Nations.