Nairobi on Wednesday pushed back against Khartoum’s rejection of President William Ruto as the lead mediator in the Sudan crisis.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Dr Korir Singóei said while the ministry has not received an official communication on the matter, the inclusion of Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed and the appointment of President Ruto to lead the Quartet of Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya was arrived at by the IGAD Summit, and can only be vacated by the Summit.
“No official communication on this yet. But both the inclusion of PM @AbiyAhmedAli to the Troika mandated to seek peace in #SudanCrisis & appointment of @WilliamsRuto to lead the Quartet was arrived at by the IGAD Summit & can only be vacated by the Summit,” Dr Singóei said in a tweet on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Sudan government accused Kenya and its senior officials of adopting Rapid Support Forces positions and supporting them with various types of support. and reiterated their rejection of Ruto as IGAD mediation team chairman.
On Tuesday, Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement announced it had rejected the replacement of South Sudan President Salva Kiir as head of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development mediation team with President Ruto.
No official communication on this yet. But both the inclusion of PM @AbiyAhmedAli to the Troika mandated to seek peace in #SudanCrisis & appointment of @WilliamsRuto to lead the Quartet was arrived at by the IGAD Summit & can only be vacated by the Summithttps://t.co/ePhMqqbUzh
— Korir Sing'Oei (@SingoeiAKorir) June 15, 2023
The Ministry said Sudan expresses objection to a number of paragraphs that were mentioned in the draft final statement of the IGAD summit due to the fact that they were not discussed and agreed upon, and the delegation called on the IGAD Secretariat to delete them.
Malik Akar, Sudan’s deputy leader, led the delegation to Sudan and represented Sudan leader and the Armed Forces leader Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who was the chairman until Djibouti President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh took over at the 14th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.
“These paragraphs relate to changing the presidency of the IGAD Committee, as the delegation demanded that the chairman be retained as Salva Kiir Mayardit to chair the committee and demanded the deletion of any reference to the subject of mediation,” the statement said.
The Communique of the 14 Ordinary IGAD Summit said the leaders had adopted the roadmap for the resolution of the conflict in Sudan in which Ethiopia was added as the fourth member of the IGAD High-Level Delegation for the Peace Process in Sudan; and for President Ruto to chair the quartet. The team was mandated to work in close coordination with the African Union Commission.
President Kiir has been the lead mediator in the process.
Among the Quartet’s immediate tasks, which President Ruto took in earnest, was to arrange face-to-face meeting between Gen. Al-Burhan and his warring partner Gen. Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo of the Rapid Support Forces in one of the regional capitals in 10 days.
The other two were to secure a commitment from the leadership of Sudan Armed Forces and RSF to establish a humanitarian corridor in two weeks and initiate an inclusive political process towards a political settlement of the conflict in Sudan in three weeks.
However, with the developments and the limited timelines, the objectives risk not being attained, even as the fighting in Khartoum rages.
President Ruto has been vocal about the conflict that erupted on April 15, 2023, warning that the war could spill over to the already unstable Horn of Africa region.