International, News

IGAD co-facilitates Jeddah talks

By Mamer Abraham


Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has dispatched its Executive Secretary, Workneh Gebeyehu, to Jeddah to participate in the peace talks to end the conflict in Sudan.

Workneh will represent the IGAD Heads of State from the IGAD region as a co-facilitator of the Jeddah Peace talks together with the African Union, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United States of America.

“Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), is currently in Jeddah, on behalf of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government, to co-facilitate the Sudan talks together with the African Union (AU), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United States of America. The talks are aimed at achieving a durable humanitarian ceasefire,” the statement shared by the IGAD Secretariat partly read.

According to the statement, joining the Jeddah peace talks will not prevent IGAD from carrying out consultations with the Sudanese warring parties in a bid to forge a Sudanese-led solution to the growing conflict.

“IGAD, together with the AU, will continue their ongoing engagements and consultations with the Sudanese stakeholders to convene a Sudanese-led and owned comprehensive, all-inclusive political dialogue that shall take place in the IGAD region,” the statement read.

“IGAD, along with friends of the Republic of Sudan, remain committed to supporting the Sudanese people in their quest for a lasting peace and political settlement.”

On Wednesday, President Salva Kiir Mayardit held a meeting with 14 Sudanese political parties’ members, where he called for a stakeholder-consultative meeting among the government of Sudan, political parties, and civil society to be held in Juba.

The parties who were signatories to the Juba Peace Agreement signed in 2020 to end the Sudanese conflict vowed commitment to the ongoing Jeddah Peace Talks.

“Unanimously, all parties decided that President Kiir must invite Sudanese political parties and civil society groups to Juba as preparation for South Sudan to host Sudan peace talks,” reads part of a communiqué from the recent meeting.

The conflict in Sudan started on April 15, 2023, and has led to the displacement of over 5 million Sudanese people, among whom many are sheltering in the neighboring countries of South Sudan, Egypt, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and Chad.

In July, Sudan’s neighbors held a summit in Cairo convened by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to end the conflict.

The leaders of Sudan’s neighboring countries hosting Sudanese refugees were to have a solid peace process that was wholesomely owned by the Sudanese people.

In the same week, the IGAD Quartet, which includes South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, held its first meeting with the Sudanese warring parties, but the Sudanese leaders protested after finding out that Dr. William Ruto, the president of Kenya, was chairing the meeting.

The Sudanese government had been accusing Kenya of harboring rebels in its capital, a claim Kenya denied. Many ceasefires had been signed by the Sudanese warring parties, but they did not quell the raging conflict as the suffering of the Sudanese people was lengthened and humanitarian access and escape routes for civilians were sometimes blocked.

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