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DJIBOUTI - 10 Dec 2023

Regional leaders hold summit on Sudan conflict

Soldiers of the Sudanese army stand near their vehicle on a road blocked with bricks in Khartoum on May 20, 2023. © AFP
Soldiers of the Sudanese army stand near their vehicle on a road blocked with bricks in Khartoum on May 20, 2023. © AFP

Leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) met Saturday in Djibouti to discuss the ongoing war in Sudan.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (Saf) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum, Darfur region and other areas since April 15.

At least 12,260 people have reportedly been killed and more than 33,000 injured in the conflict. A humanitarian crisis continues to worsen as nearly 6.8 million people have fled their homes seeking safety in Sudan or neighboring countries.

Several ceasefire deals brokered by Saudi and US mediators have failed to end the conflict.

 “The violence threatens the country's existence and regional stability. Today's summit is a beacon of hope. Sudan needs peace”, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who is also chairman of the Eastern Africa bloc, said in a statement after the summit.

President Ismail called for an immediate cease-fire in Sudan.

“The Assembly effectively secured a commitment from the Sudanese belligerents to promptly convene & agree upon a cessation of hostilities—a crucial step in addressing the aspirations of the Sudanese people!” IGAD Secretary General Workneh Gebeyehu wrote on X.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his country remains committed to supporting a peaceful resolution to the Sudanese conflict.

The IGAD summit also focused on broader issues on regional peace and security initiatives, according to the Somali presidency.

Sudanese Sovereignty Council President Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Somali President Hasan Sheikh Mahmud, Kenyan President William Ruto, Gebeyehu and African Union Commission President Musa Faki as well as representatives of the US, UN and EU attended the summit.

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