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Sudanese Al Burhan Rejects Ruto, Wants Kiir as Lead Mediator

Sudanese Al Burhan Rejects Ruto, Wants Kiir as Lead Mediator

Reporting By The City Review, Juba, and additional reporting by Kenyan Foreign Policy

War broke out between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces on April 15 in Khartoum

The Sudanese government, led by military leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, has rejected the nomination of Kenyan President William Ruto to lead a ceasefire dialogue on the country’s crisis.

The Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the heads of state and government had resolved at a summit in Djibouti that President Ruto leads a committee that will encompass the quartet— Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Kenya—to champion peace talks in Sudan.

But in quick response to the landmark resolution, Khartoum demanded that South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, be retained as chairman of the committee.

According to a statement issued by Khartoum, Sudan indicated that these paragraphs “are related to changing the leadership of the IGAD committee, as the delegation demanded that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit retain the chairmanship of the committee.

Sudan through the Foreign Ministry further demanded “the deletion of any reference to the issue of IGAD mediation from the African house”.

The regional bloc, however, issued a final communique indicating that the Kenyan leader will spearhead the committee of leaders who will mediate the crisis.

The IGAD initiative had proposed the formation of a quartet committee headed by Kenya to follow up on the Sudanese file, organize a “face-to-face” meeting between the army commander, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the leader of Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo—the two parties to the conflict—and find a permanent solution to the crisis within three weeks.

The leaders resolved to meet with the leader of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, to address the conflict.

Kenyan President William Ruto, who read the IGAD resolution on Monday, said the quartet would meet the generals in the next 10 days to find a means of ceasing hostilities in Sudan.

“We have decided that the quartet of Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Somalia will, in the next ten days, meet face-to-face with Gen. Burhan and Gen. Dagalo in a face-to-face engagement so that we can speak to them directly on behalf of IGAD to stop the war that is raging in Sudan and ceasing all manner of hostilities,” Ruto said in a video shared on Twitter.

Ruto stressed that the leaders of the four countries would also hold discussions with the generals in the next two weeks so that they could provide humanitarian access and hold a national dialogue in the next three weeks to end the suffering of the Sudanese people.

“Ensuring that we commit them to stop the war that is going on in Sudan so that we can save the lives of the people, the infrastructure that is being destroyed at the moment, and all the other destruction that is going on in Sudan is number one,” Ruto said.

“We have also agreed that in the next two weeks, we will discuss with the generals providing a humanitarian corridor so that humanitarian support can be made available… to the children, the women, and all other people that are currently caught in the middle of the conflict that is going on in Sudan.”

On Monday, the IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, called on the warring parties in Sudan to cease hostilities to prevent the loss of lives.

“IGAD calls upon all parties to cease all hostilities and give dialogue a chance. It is an opportunity to prevent further loss of life and allow the safe evacuation of civilians who wish to escape the fighting,” Gebeyehu said.

On April 15, 2023, war broke out between the Sudanese military and the Rapid Support Forces, leading to massive losses of lives and the displacement of civilians.

Over two weeks after the conflict, the UN reported that about 1.4 million civilians had been displaced, among whom 350,000 had crossed to South Sudan and were in dire need of humanitarian aid.

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