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Sudan rejects Ruto as head of IGAD mediation team

The Sudan government rejected the appointment of Kenya’s President William Ruto as the head of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation team on the Sudan conflict.

In a June 14, 2023, statement, Sudan opposed the replacement of South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit with President Ruto.

The Sudan Post reported that the Foreign Ministry disagreed with the decision made on June 13, 2023, at the end of the IGAD Summit that was held in Djibouti; and demanded President Mayardit is retained as head of the IGAD mediation team.

President Ruto’s first assignment was to mediate the outbreak of conflict in Sudan but the Foreign Ministry said that Ruto’s appointment had not been discussed and agreed upon.

“[Sudan] expressed its disagreement and objection to a number of paragraphs that were mentioned in the draft final statement of the summit due to the fact that they were not discussed and agreed upon, and the delegation called on the IGAD Secretariat to delete them. These paragraphs relate to changing the presidency of the IGAD Committee, as the delegation demanded that the chairman be retained as Salva Kiir Mayardit to chair the committee and demanded the deletion of any reference to the subject of mediation,” said the Foreign Ministry according to the Sudans Post.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that President Ruto was to lead South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia in mediating peace in Sudan, and a meeting was scheduled for next week with General Al Burhan of the Sudan Armed Forces and General Daglo of the Rapid Support Forces.

“Kenya commits to meet the two Sudan generals face to face to find a lasting solution to the crisis. Igad will want a permanent cessation of hostilities to allow the country hold discussions on how to reform their governance. We have also agreed that in the next three weeks, we also begin the process of an inclusive national dialogue to get the people of Sudan to discuss, in their diversity, the issues in their country. The generals will also have opportunity to send representatives,” said President Ruto.

The Sudan conflict erupted on April 15 as the factions led by the two aforementioned Generals clashed. Over 1,200 deaths have been reported and 800,000 people internally displaced.

The conflict erupted over power struggles between the two factions in the wake of the ousting of Omar al-Bashir, the dictator who ruled Sudan for years.

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