RIYADH – President William Ruto, who chairs the IGAD Quartet leading regional mediation efforts in Sudan, on Tuesday appeared to loosen his hardline position rejecting the Jeddah process.
President Ruto, who held talks with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salma in Saudi Arabia, said Kenya welcomes Saudi Arabia’s bold commitment to intervene and help tame conflicts in the region.
“This will go a long way in stabilising the continent,” Ruto said on X after the meeting at the King Abdul Aziz International Conference Centre in Riyadh.
The President noted that Africa has made progress in economic growth, regional cooperation and democratisation, but the advancements continue to be threatened by insecurity, violence and terrorism.
Ruto is attending the Future Investment Initiative Conference.
The IGAD Quartet mediation team on September 6 rejected invitation to the Jeddah initiative led by the US and Saudi Arabia.
The Heads of State and Government of the IGAD Quartet Group of Countries meeting in Nairobi on the sidelines of the Africa Climate Summit reiterated their call for a structured all-inclusive approach towards peace talks anchored in the IGAD-AU-led initiative.
Noting consultations with various stakeholders and the invitation for IGAD to participate in the Jeddah process, the IGAD team called for the consolidation of all peace initiatives for Sudan under a framework that “comprehensively addresses the conflict, humanitarian access and long-term political dialogue to deliver comprehensive and lasting peace”.
“The members of the IGAD Quartet Group of countries recommend that in the spirit of “African Solutions to African Problems” IGAD and the AU combine their efforts with the countries neighbouring the Sudan and further calls upon the international actors to support a single, all-inclusive IGAD-AU led platform,” the communique said.
Further, the group mandated IGAD and the African Union to accelerate the consultations to map the agenda, venue and identify participants and other relevant matters in support of a political dialogue that clearly defines a Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led political process.
On July 16, President Ruto, who has been rejected by SAF as the lead mediator, remained adamant on leading the AU-backed IGAD Quartet.
SAF says Nairobi is harbouring Rapid Support Forces, which was confirmed by a Sky News interview of US-sanctioned RSF Deputy Commander Abdulrahim Dagalo from Kenya’s capital.
In a phone call with Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan Chairman Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Ruto said the IGAD and Jeddah processes must work together to facilitate the realisation of a permanent ceasefire in Sudan.
In May, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the purpose of the Jeddah talks was to bring the warring parties in Sudan to sign a humanitarian truce, followed by talks on a permanent ceasefire and civilian-led government.
However, the talks failed to proceed after several breakdowns, with the US and Saudi Arabia failing to successfully negotiate the warring parties’ adherence to the Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan.