Quartet Seek Leaders of Sudan’s Warring Sides to Hold face-to-face Talks

ADDIS ABABA – The Igad Quartet group of states have decided to “mobilize and concentrate” efforts to bring leaders of the two warring sides in Sudan to a face-to-face meeting in a bid to bring peace in the country.

The Heads of State and Government of the Quartet states met in Addis Ababa today to discuss the implementation of the Igad Roadmap for peace in sudan

More than 2,000 people have been killed and at least 6,000 others injured since the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out in mid-April.

“The intensity and scale of the humanitarian crisis is a harrowing tragedy that calls for a bold and an all-inclusive peace dialogue,” said William Ruto, president of Kenya and chairman of the Igad Quartet.

The Quartet States, Ruto said, “implores the parties to this conflict to declare and observe an unconditional ceasefire”, and establish a humanitarian zone — spanning a radius of 30 kilometers in Khartoum — to facilitate the delivery of assistance.

“This step will lead to the resumption of the final phase of the political process,” he added.

Seek face-to-face meeting

The Kenyan president chaired the meeting of the Quartet states meeting ended with adoption of a communique stating their deep concern over the escalation of the conflict.

The leaders further state that there is a military solution to the conflict in Sudan.

“In this regard,” it says, the leaders made a decision “to mobilize and concentrate the efforts of all stakeholders towards delivering a face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the warring parties,” urging for “the parties to immediately stop the violence”.

They also decided “to take concrete steps to facilitate immediate humanitarian assistance to all Sudanese affected by the conflict,” calling upon Sudan neighboring states to ease and lift any logistical barriers to the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Regrets over SAF Delegation

The igad quartate meeting was chaired by President Ruto, and attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Ali Youssouf, and Special Envoy Benjamin Bol Mel representing the President of South Sudan and Deputy Chairperson of IGAD.

Others include IGAD Secretary General Workneh Gebeyehu, the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye as well as representatives of the UN-OCHA, European Union, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the US and the UK.

Both parties to the conflict were invited to send their respective delegation to the meeting on Monday morning in Addis Ababa but only one showed up representative of the Rapid Support Forces Yousif Izzat.

The communique noted “the regrettable absence of the delegation of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in spite of the invitation and confirmation of attendance.”

They stressed that there is no military solution to the conflict, urging “the parties to immediately stop the violence and sign an unconditional and indefinite ceasefire.”

The communique also took note of the planned meeting of states neighboring Sudan scheduled to be held in Egypt on Thursday, and “welcome the complementary role that this initiative will play in supporting the shared objectives of the IGAD Quartet for peace and stability in Sudan”.

Several previous attempts at securing a ceasefire to the three month-long conflict had limited success and the UN is now warning of a wider civil war.

The conflict has displaced around three million people including nearly 615,000 refugees that have crossed the border into neighboring countries.