2nd March 2024
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IGAD leaders meet on Sudan war but without al-Burhan

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Thursday, January 18, 2024

Sudan's de facto leader General Abdal-Fattah Al Burhan and his rival General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. | Photo: Courtesy.

The 42nd Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Governments kicked off in the Republic of Uganda on Thursday to discuss the conflict in Sudan, as the junta led by General Abdal Fattah Al-Burhan ditched the crisis meeting.

According to the South Sudan ambassador to Uganda, the IGAD session is being held on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.

The meeting focuses on the security and humanitarian situation in Sudan and the escalating conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia over excess to the Red Sea.

Regional leaders at the event are Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Djibouti President, Ismail Omar Guelleh and Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

On Wednesday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed difficulty in attending the IGAD extraordinary summit proposed for 18th January 2024, owing to an overlapping schedule.

Addis Ababa said in a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti and the IGAD Secretariat, said it was not able to participate in the meeting due to “commitment to a prior engagement and the short notice extended to convene the extraordinary summit.”

Sudan’s de facto leader General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan was absent at Thursday’s session in what is expected to undermine efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Sudan.

But the commander of the Rapid Support Force (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo alias Hemedti, arrived in Uganda on Wednesday to attend the IGAD meeting.

The junta has accused the IGAD leadership of condoning alleged atrocities committed by the RSF in East Darfur by inviting General Dagalo at the event.

According to the United Nations, more than 12,000 people have been killed in war-torn Sudan since fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces on 15 April 2023.

More than 7.3 million people have been displaced inside and outside Sudan and the number of people displaced in Sudan has increased by about 500,000 in one month, mainly due to the conflict-induced displacement from parts of Aj Jazirah and other states.

Intergovernmental Authority on Development plays a crucial role in fostering peace and stability across the Horn of Africa.

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