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IGAD’s mediation role not sidelined –Sudanese envoy

By Bida Elly David

Sudanese Special envoy to Juba said the on-going talks between warring parties in Saudi Arabia hasn’t sidelined President Salva Kiir, as the lead of IGAD mediating team from participation.

Sudanese President, Abdel Fattah al Burhan tasked a delegation led by Abdallah Haj Ali to brief president Salva Kiir on Monday about the current development in Jeddah.

“IGAD mediation committee has never been excluded in undertaking a role in the talks between the rivals though they chose to respond to UAE and United States,” Abdallah Haj Ali clarified.

Taking negotiations between the Sudanese conflicting parties to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia has been seen as ignoring the role of IGAD and President Kiir who heads the mediation committee in negotiating talks.

“Our response to the initiative of Saudi Arabia and United States doesn’t exclude the role of IGAD and the role with which President Salva has been entrusted,” Abdallah Haj Ali stressed.

Acknowledging the role of IGAD and describing its mediator as an interested party, the head of the Sudanese delegation said, President Salva Kiir takes a right position to beat the helm of this mission.

“We are sure that he will be able; he has the wisdom, experience and strong relations with our Country which can make difference,” he said.

Ambassador Haj said that the efforts made by president Kiir through calls to advocate for ceasefire between Burhan and Hemedti were symbols of greatness in leadership.

“H.E president Kiir has categorically reiterated that this is an internal issue and he said that no Country should take advantage of this situation to try to do anything which might weaken Sudan.

“We appreciate highly these genuine feelings from President Salva Kiir as he was assigned by IGAD,” Haj said.

The envoy said that Khartoum government has trusted Kiir’s ability towards heading IGAD mediation team to bring amenity to Sudan despite the on-going grumbles between the two heads.

“We have full confidence in President Salva Kiir that he will continue with his efforts within IGAD. Since the inception of this crisis, he did a great job.

He has also confirmed that the chairmanship of Sudan in IGAD should continue through the incumbent chairperson to serve the best interest of the region.

On the question of using Juba as a scope of peace talks between the Sudanese warrying parties, Haj said that it is a matter of time for president Burhan and his rival Hemedti to decide.

He noted that the call has not been disregarded by the Sudanese government.

Acting minister of foreign Affairs and international cooperation, Deng Dau Deng said President Salva Kiir was delighted with his counterpart Burhan for adhering to his request for talks.

In respect of Salva Kiir’s guest, Sudanese president send representatives to meet his rival for negotiation to talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and also an envoy to Juba.

According to Dau, Kiir remains committed to spearhead the IGAD mediation committee as hopes to meet in Juba remains a nod from the two generals.

However, the acting foreign affairs minister said Kiir cautioned against external interference into internal affairs of Sudan saying only internal solutions can resolve the ongoing problem in the Country.

The Minister also conveyed president Kiir’s appreciation to the Sudanese opposition for also responding to the call of respecting the cessation of hostilities.

“President Salva Kiir expressed commitment to restore amity in Sudan” the minister stressed.

According to Dau, president Kiir still calls on the two parties to meet in Juba for dialogue so that their differences can be resolved through the IGAD.

It is not yet clear if President Kiir will travel to Saudi Arabia for the talks.

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