IGAD Quartet changes tact to tame Sudanese conflict

IGAD Quartet changes tact to tame Sudanese conflict
IGAD leaders in a past meeting to discuss Sudan’s crisis. [Photo: courtesy]

With no let-up in the raging conflict in Sudan, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has mooted a new approach to mediate the conflict after its earlier initiative hit a snag.

According to the communiqué of the second meeting of the IGAD quartet, comprising South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, the members of the bloc agreed on a joint approach to bring peace in Sudan.

The Thursday meeting that was chaired by the Kenyan president, William Ruto, made a raft of recommendations, among them an all-inclusive approach to bring the warring factions to the negotiating table and strike a peace deal.

“[Quartet] reiterates the call for a structured approach towards peace talks between the warring parties and all-inclusive consultations with civilian actors.” the statement partly read.

The approach also emphasized the need for countries bordering Sudan, like South Sudan, to join hands with the IGAD and AU to end the conflict.

“[Quartet] recommends that in the spirit of “African Solutions to African Problems,” IGAD and the AU combine their efforts with the countries neighbouring Sudan and further calls upon the international actors to support a single, all-inclusive IGAD-AU-led platform,” it stated.

The heads of state noted that the war in Sudan continues to spread with no success in peace initiatives.

“The situation in Sudan has not improved with the fighting escalating, expanding, and extending to outlying regions, it stated.

The leaders acknowledged the fact that the conflict in Sudan continues to affect the region and the continent and that there is a need to bring it to an end.

“IGAD strongly condemns the ongoing war and calls upon the warring parties to immediately halt all hostilities”.

The meeting agreed on a new commitment by the Quartet Heads of State and Government to deliver a face-to-face meeting between the warring parties.

As a response to the humanitarian assistance to the war-affected people in Sudan and the smooth running of the ongoing peace initiatives, the members agreed on a financial contribution.

“[Quartet] commits to mobilize USD 1 million from each IGAD member state for humanitarian assistance and to support the peace process in solidarity with the people of the Republic of Sudan,” the statement partly read.

On June 15, IGAD decided to recalibrate the quartet of leaders pursuing peace in Sudan. Juba was dropped as a member, and Nairobi was selected to lead the mediation. Addis Ababa and Djibouti were also included; however, these changes were opposed by Khartoum.

The 14th Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Assembly of heads of state and government continued in Djibouti that convened in June and selected Kenyan President Ruto to spearhead mediation towards the restoration of peace in Sudan.

However, in the recent sitting of the Heads of State and Government of the IGAD Quartet Group of countries in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya, new alternatives were developed to respond to the persistent war in Sudan.

This is after the chairman of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who is at war with the head of Rapid Support Forces, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo rejected Ruto’s nomination to chair the mediation team, accusing Ruto of being Dagalo’s sympathizer. But Ruto denied the allegations.