Sudan trashes IGAD directives, says bloc violated its requests

Sudan trashes IGAD directives, says bloc violated its requests
Sudan’s top army general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan holds a press conference at the General Command of the Armed Forces in Khartoum on October 26, 2021. – Angry Sudanese stood their ground in street protests against a coup, as international condemnation of the military’s takeover poured in ahead of a UN Security Council meeting. (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP) (Photo by ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images)

Sudan has told off the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) over its recent communique, ordering the warring factions to hold a ceasefire meeting within a span of two weeks.

The IGAD’s communique came at the same time that Khartoum declared that it was suspending its engagement with the bloc due to its failure to heed to its protest against the invitation of the leader of Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti), to the meeting.

Sudanese Ambassador to South Sudan, Jamal Malik, told The City Review that the government decided to withdraw its membership after IGAD defied its request not to discuss Sudan’s internal affairs at the summit held in Entebbe, Uganda, after it had withdrawn its participation.

“As per the decision of the government of Sudan to suspend its membership in IGAD, Sudan has no obligation to implement whatever comes from the last extra-ordinary summit of IGAD,” Malik said.

“Unfortunately, the organization didn’t respect the request of the government of Sudan to remove the agenda related to Sudan peace process for the reasons mentioned in our letter to the chair of IGAD before the summit,” he added.

However, Mr Malik did not explain in detail the next course of action that the Chairperson of the Sovereign Council, Gen Abdel Fattah-Al-Burhan would take after turning his back on IGAD and withdrawing the membership from it.

The Sudanese government announced the suspension of its membership in the IGAD on Saturday—a body that has been actively advocating for a ceasefire between the National Army and the RSF since war broke in April 15, 2023.

According to statement issued by the Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday, Sudan’s decision was prompted by IGAD’s defiance of Sudan’s official request to halt its interference and freeze interactions on issues about Sudan’s current situation.

Despite Sudan’s request, IGAD included an item on Sudan on its agenda for the 42nd Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, which took place in Kampala, Uganda, on January 18, 2024.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounces the invitation extended by the Igad Secretariat to the leader of the Janjaweed militia to attend the 42nd Extraordinary Session of the Igad Assembly of Heads of State and Government. This invitation constitutes a flagrant violation of the Agreement establishing Igad and its rules of procedures as well as the agreed principles of intergovernmental organisations,” a read a statement from the country’s affairs ministry.

Sudan also faulted some IGAD Heads of state for hosting Hemedti and displaying their possible endorsement of his actions.

“That shows these countries are recognizing the rebel leader. Moreover, Kenya hosts many members of the rebel movement, yet President Ruto is taking part in this summit,” he said.

The final communiqué of the meeting faulted Sudan for not being receptive to the “needs of the families and victims of atrocities committed by rebel militias”.

On the other hand, Hemedti issued on a statement on the RSF X page on Thursday praising his participation in the summit and expressing optimism on the outcome.

“The summit meeting was an opportunity for us to provide a detailed explanation to His Excellency the Heads of State of IGAD about the reasons for the outbreak of the crisis in Sudan and our vision to stop the war and negotiate to reach a comprehensive and sustainable peace that addresses the roots of the crisis and lays the foundation for building a better future for our people, making this war the last war in our country,” he stated.

“We hope that their efforts in achieving peace and stability in our country will be crowned with a reflection on the security and stability of the region and the world,” he added.

Sudan’s decision to suspend its membership in IGAD comes amid tensions in the country’s politic wrangles, as clashes between the army and rebel militias continue in various parts of the country.