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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudan opposition leaders call for peaceful resolution of Sudan conflict

General al-Burhan (L) speaks to Hemetti (AFP photo)

General al-Burhan (L) speaks to Hemetti (AFP photo)

July 17, 2023 (JUBA) – Sudan’s warring parties should consider the current situation in the country and strive toward a peaceful resolution for ending the ongoing conflict, a leading South Sudanese opposition politician advised on Monday.

“My message remains consistent with what I have been conveying to the Sudanese leaders in Khartoum: war is destructive, and there is no valid reason for this conflict. I firmly believe that peaceful means could have prevented this war,” Lam Akol said in an interview with the Netherland-based Radio Tamazuj website.

The opposition leader who heads the National Democratic Movement (NDM) said Sudan’s rival leaders should have learnt from the experiences of South Sudan.

“Unfortunately, the situation has escalated, and now it is crucial for our Sudanese brothers to learn from our experiences,” he said, citing how civil wars caused immense loss of lives, destruction of propertied and significant societal damage.

Akol said he was in Khartoum when the conflict broke out on 15 April, and that Sudanese leaders largely ignored his advice that could have prevented the crisis.

He welcomed last week’s Cairo summit on Sudan and commended efforts of the countries in the region, which convened to discuss the way forward.

Gabriel Changson Chang, another opposition figure, described the conflict in Sudan as “destructive”, urging the warring parties to amicably resolve the matter.

“We have been closely following events taking place in Sudan and it generates a great concern because as we have experienced here is destructive”, he said.

Chang, head of the Federal Democratic Party (FDP) in South Sudan, lauded actions taken by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, African Union, United States, Saudi Arabia and nation in the region to end Sudan’s crisis.

“The Cairo summit was a step forward to unifying the efforts. Now there is at least a sense of unified direction and vision among the regional and international community”, he explained.

The conflict between Sudan’s army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) since April 15 has killed more than 3,000 civilians and displaced nearly 3 million, according to the United Nations. In May, Sudan’s army suspended its participation in the ceasefire talks mediated by Saudi and the US negotiators in protest of what it called the RSF violation of a ceasefire deal.

Up to 25 million people in Sudan need humanitarian aid and protection, the UN says.