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IGAD Terminates Ruto’s-led Mediation on Sudan Crisis

IGAD Terminates Ruto’s-led Mediation on Sudan Crisis
President William Ruto with General Abdel-Fattah Al Burhan of Sudan during a meeting at the State House on November 13, 2023. Image: PCS

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit on Saturday dissolved the quartet group of countries that had been appointed to lead mediation efforts in the ongoing bitter conflict in Sudan.

The mediation team led by Kenyan President William Ruto, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia was constituted in the middle of this year to engage the warring Generals on the need for an immediate ceasefire and negotiations.

The Regional leaders approved the appointment of a special envoy to facilitate the mediation of the conflict.

The announcement was made in a press release on Sunday, though it wasn’t explicit and Kenyan Foreign Policy understands Sudanese military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan requested the disbandment of the mediation team.

Kenyan Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Sing’oei Korir said President William Ruto of Kenya, who led the mediation, submitted his report to the regional bloc concerning the peace efforts in Sudan.

“The IGAD quartet having submitted its report has discharged its mandate, and the Assembly adopted the report whose basis formed several recommendations at the extraordinary summit,” Korir told Kenyan Foreign Policy.

The leaders delegated IGAD and the African Union to take over the peace mediation role after the termination of the quartet.

Asked whether Kenya would be fronting a candidate for the special envoy role, Korir said “they’re considering the issue of whether to propose a Kenyan for the position but given SAF’s sensitivity to a Kenyan leading the process, and wishing to lend momentum to the mediation process, we are open to proposals from other IGAD members,”.

In June 2023, Sudanese military leadership rejected IGAD’s decision to make Kenyan leader the head of the committee of countries.

They accused Nairobi of harboring and sympathizing with the paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, an accusation President Ruto vehemently denied.

Ruto was accused of imposing himself as the IGAD mediation leader where he dethroned his South Sudanese counterpart, Salva Kiir.

Juba expressed their displeasure behind the scenes.

South Sudanese Foreign minister James Pitia Morgan in November said his country is ready to spearhead the mediation of talks between Sudan’s warring parties once given the greenlight by IGAD.

Addressing the press, he said President Kiir is capable of mediating the talks as he has been a member of the Sudanese Armed Forces, as well as the first vice president of Sudan, and that the Sudanese people know him as one of their leaders before the secession of South Sudan.

“It was South Sudan that was able to solve the issue of Darfur through the Juba Peace Agreement which was mediated by President Kiir himself. So, what is the difference between the ongoing crisis in Sudan and the one in Darfur?” asked the foreign minister.

“If President Kiir was able to solve that issue of Darfur, he still stands as the right person to solve the ongoing crisis in Sudan,”.

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