The 41st Extraordinary Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government on Saturday resolved to establish an IGAD framework comprised of respected diplomatic and political interlocutors, nominated by regional leaders to undertake the mediation efforts in Sudan.
The resolution follows the need to have a unified Africa-anchored mediation process that coordinates the various national, regional, continental and international efforts – IGAD, Jeddah and Egypt – and tracks under the auspices of IGAD and the AU.
IGAD leaders acknowledged the other corresponding peace initiatives, especially those that bring together the neighbouring countries of Sudan and advocated a consolidation and coalescing of efforts under the IGAD- AU led process to chart a unified and coordinated pathway to peace under the IGAD Roadmap.
The communique also indicated the end of the IGAD mediation Quartet led by President William Ruto.
“The assembly welcomed the comprehensive report tabled by the Chairperson of the Quartet Group of Countries, H.E. Dr. William Ruto, and expressed gratitude at the commitment with which he steered the efforts of the quartet; and appreciated the dedication and efforts of the members of the Quartet towards peacefully resolving the ongoing crisis in the Republic of Sudan
“… and Noting that the Quartet had ably discharged the task for which it was established, the IGAD Assembly adopted the report filed, and Resolved, in the interest of shared and collective responsibility, to be fully seized of the search for peace in the Sudan,” the communique said.
Additionally, they recommended the appointment of IGAD Special Envoy to Sudan, reporting to the Executive Secretary, who will be tasked with coordinating and leading IGAD mediation efforts in accordance with the IGAD Roadmap for the Peace in Sudan.
The heads of state and government also condemned what they termed as unwarranted interventions and interferences by external state and non-state actors in the conflict in Sudan.
They called for a stop in providing and re-supplying war assets and materials to either side of the conflict and called on the international community to exert maximum pressure on any actor(s) involved in aiding the conflict.
Since the war broke out on April 15, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces have claimed 9,000 lives and left thousands more injured as of November.
More than one million people have fled Sudan to neighboring countries, while more than 4.6 million have been displaced inside the country, it says. These numbers have been rising as the violence continues.