Khartoum, 18 January 2024(TDI): On Tuesday, Sudan suspended ties with the East African Regional Bloc, IGAD for inviting paramilitary forces leader to the Summit.
Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Tuesday, through a statement. The statement briefed the decision to suspend ties with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Moreover, it was prompted by the organization’s inclusion of Sudan in the agenda for a meeting on January 18 in Kampala, Uganda. Most importantly, the ministry cited the invitation extended to Mohamed Hamdan Daglo as the basis for this decision. He is also known as Hemedti and is the leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Also, the ministry has accused IGAD of breaching Sudan’s sovereignty and establishing a “perilous precedent.” The ministry is aligning with army chief and de facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on this decision.
Tuesday’s announcement came a week after Dagalo concluded a tour of Africa. He held meetings with government officials in Uganda, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Rwanda during this tour.
IGAD remains involved in mediating between the national army and a formidable paramilitary force. In parallel with the United States and Saudi Arabia, the bloc made several attempts to mediate.
However, their efforts remained unsuccessful between the two conflicting generals. On Saturday, the government criticized the bloc for granting legitimacy to Hemedti’s militant forces by inviting it to a meeting attended by heads of state and government from the member countries. Also, the government alleged the bloc of violating the Sudan’s sovereignty.
42nd Summit of East African Regional Bloc, IGAD
The 42nd IGAD summit is going to take place in Kampala, Uganda, on Thursday. The extraordinary meeting will focus on the conflict in Sudan, where a war erupted in April 2023 between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Moreover, the meeting is aiming to bring an end to the violence and reinstating a civilian-led government. An immediate ceasefire is urgently required to facilitate a negotiated political resolution. The African Union and international partners are also invited to participate in a letter sent to IGAD countries.
Since the outbreak of the war, the two military leaders have not yet met in person. During the summit, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo agreed to a direct meeting to discuss an unconditional cessation of hostilities. At the meeting, heads of state and government from IGAD are participating. However, Sudan suspended ties with the East African Regional Bloc, IGAD for inviting paramilitary forces leaders to the Summit. Thus, no such meeting will take place now.
Invitation to paramilitary forces leader to the Summit
IGAD extended its invitation to the paramilitary forces leader to find a political solution to the conflict in Sudan at Summit. Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti, the commander of Rapid Support Forces (RSF), has confirmed that he will attend this regional leaders’ meeting. He will attend this meeting to find a solution of the conflict.
Over the weekend, Dagalo stated that he had received an invitation from the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). He will attend and participate in the 42nd Assembly of the Extraordinary Session on January 18 in Uganda. Continuing, he affirmed that our steadfast stance aligned in support of a comprehensive and peaceful solution to end the conflict in Sudan.
The United Nations reports over 12,000 people have lost their lives in war-torn Sudan since April 15, 2023. The conflict has resulted in more than 7.3 million people being displaced, both within and outside Sudan.
In one month, the number of internally displaced individuals in Sudan has risen by approximately 500,000. Undoubtedly, these displacements have primarily attributed to conflict in areas like Aj Jazirah and other states.