Igad quartet proposes unified peace bid on Sudan
A four-country team of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad says it wants the various peace bids on Sudan unified to pursue long-lasting stability, signalling own failures in mediating the deadly conflict.
Known as the Quartet, the countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti, say the conflict in Sudan is threatening to expand beyond the original warring lines, risking the stability of the entire Horn of Africa. And that may be partly due to multiplicity of peace bids, including their own.
The Quartet met in Nairobi, on the sidelines of the Africa Climate Summit, for the second time since it was mooted controversially two months ago.
Chaired by Kenyan President William Ruto, it began on a wrong footing after the junta in Sudan, led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, rejected Kenya’s role, insisting on South Sudan chairmanship.
Read:The Sudans wants Ruto out of IGAD as peace efforts stall
It says it was invited to take part in a parallel dialogue in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia fronted by the US and the Saudi government. The Jeddah Process had also, sort of, stalled after parties failed to adhere to the ceasefire. Now, the Igad team says there is a need to consolidate those processes.
“[The Quartet] nevertheless suggests the consolidation of all peace initiatives for the Republic of Sudan under a framework that comprehensively addresses the conflict, humanitarian access and long-term political dialogue to deliver comprehensive and lasting peace,” it said in a communique on Thursday.
The four countries also say the discussions on the peace in Sudan should include other political actors beyond the main protagonists – The Rapid Support Forces and the Sudan Armed Forces.
Read:Sudan protagonists send mixed signals as fighting continues
“[The Quartet] Cautions that the conflict in the Republic of Sudan is becoming increasingly complex and risks taking on a regional dimension with the entry and participation of other armed movements, in addition to the rapid proliferation of small arms and light weapons posing severe security, humanitarian, and political risks for Sudan and the broader region.”
They said Igad, an eight-member bloc of Horn of Africa countries, should work with the African Union and combine efforts “with the countries neighbouring the Sudan and further calls upon the international actors to support a single, all-inclusive Igad-AU led platform.”
Since the conflict began in April various initiatives have been fronted to help bring peace to Sudan. Most failed on suspicion by parties that mediators were favouring one side. Recently, however, Gen Burhan has toured Egypt and South Sudan, both of who had variously proposed direct dialogue between Burhan and RSF leader Mohamed Hamdani Daglo. That physical meeting has never happened but Egypt and South Sudan are among the few neighbours who have influence on the Sudanese junta leader.
In Nairobi, it was meant to discuss the roadmap for peace it had proposed for Sudan in June, when the quartet was created. But the leaders sort of admitted that roadmap had failed. They now want Sudan itself, African Union, alongside Igad and Sudan’s neighbours, to discuss a new agenda on how to solve the conflict.
Igad says it will work with the African Union to consult widely and determine agenda, venue and participants “in support of a political dialogue that clearly defines a Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led political process.”
The Quartet has proposed a donation of $1 million by every member of Igad to help address mounting humanitarian crises in various parts of Sudan, where more than 2 million people have been displaced from the war and more than 2,000 people killed since April.
Read:Trail of death, billions lost in Sudan war
The meeting was chaired by Kenyan President William Ruto, and was attended by Djibouti’s Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, who is also the Chairperson of Igad, and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, the Deputy Chairperson of Igad. Ethiopia was represented by Dr Abreham Belay, the Minister for Defence. Others included Igad Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu and Moussa Faki, chairperson of the African Union Commission.