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Sudan Tribune

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Sudan threatens IGAD withdrawal over Kenyan chairmanship

IGAD quartet leaders meet in Nairobi on September 5, 2023

IGAD quartet leaders meet in Nairobi on September 5, 2023 (Photo IGAD)

September 7, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan has hinted at the possibility of withdrawing from the IGAD bloc if the chairmanship of the quartet group tasked with resolving the armed conflict in the country is not changed.

On Wednesday, September 6, the IGAD quartet group convened a meeting in Nairobi, where participants called for the consolidation of various initiatives aimed at ending the conflict between the “warring parties” in Sudan. This unification effort falls under the umbrella of IGAD and the African Union, aligning with the principle of “African Solutions to African Problems.”

In response to this call, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry reiterated its rejection of Kenya’s chairmanship of the quartet group and issued a warning that the country might reconsider its membership in the regional bloc if its request is ignored.

The Foreign Ministry stated, “Should IGAD fail to acknowledge our request for a change in the Committee’s leadership, the Sudanese government will reevaluate the viability of remaining within the organization that it initiated.”

Sudan argues that the close business ties between Kenyan President William Ruto and the leaders of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) disqualify him from chairing the mediation panel within IGAD.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms the Sudanese government’s rejection of Kenya’s presidency of the IGAD Quartet due to its bias towards the rebel militia and its hosting of its leadership, which is pursued by international sanctions,” the statement emphasized.

On Thursday, the RSF’s second-in-command, Abdelrahim Daglo, spoke with the UAE-based Sky News Arabia TV channel to address the sanctions imposed on him by the U.S. administration.

On September 4, President Ruto informed CNN that Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Head of the Sovereign Council in Sudan, expressed willingness to engage in negotiations with the RSF under IGAD mediation.

“I had a conversation two days ago with Burhan the leader of SAF (Sudan Armed Forces), the people who initially accused Kenya of being partisan,” he said.

“He now dropped the partisan allegation and he is ready for us as a region through IGAD to work with others including Egypt and neighbours including the U.S. and Saudi (Arabia), using the Jeddah process to harmonize these processes so that we can get to a solution,” stressed the Kenyan leader.