National, News

Sudan peace search gains momentum

By William Madouk


All eyes are focused on Juba, where the leaders of the Sudanese Forces of Freedom and Change are meeting with the South Sudanese mediation team.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss strategies for achieving lasting peace and putting an end to the sound of ear-pricing guns in Khartoum.

A 2-day consultative meeting that focused on the current situation and how parties could help resolve the political deadlock started on Tuesday, just a month after parties nodded for President Salva Kiir to invite Sudanese parties.

In his remarks, the presidential advisor on security affairs, Mr. Tut Gatluak, who is also the chair of the South Sudan Mediation Committee, said the meeting was a preparation for an inclusive peace process in Sudan.

“President Salva Kiir invited you so that we could sit with you and find your vision towards Sudan—this is what we want to hear from you. And we will build on it as South Sudan and inform others,” he said.

“Because if the vision of how to solve the issue of Sudan comes from you, the people who are affected, it’s a genuine one.”

Mr. Gatluak said Jeddah peace talks are very slow and could not manage to silence guns in the neighboring Sudan.

Meanwhile, the head of the Sudanese delegation, Omer Al-Diger, said, “We came to Juba searching for a solution for the Sudanese crisis that erupted on April 15, which created a humanitarian catastrophe and put the entire country on the brink of collapse.”

“South Sudan is an important country, and we have distinct ties, the interests of the two peoples, and a single agenda. Therefore, we believe that any role played by South Sudan will be positive and helpful to the aspirations of Sudanese,” he added.

Dr. Dhieu Mathok, the secretary of the Juba mediation team, who doubles as minister of investment, said, they exchanged views on how this conflict in Sudan should be resolved.

“They presented to the mediation team their vision and how the conflict should be resolved; we have seen that there are practical aspects; if South Sudan picks it up, we can be able to rally up the Sudanese behind the resolution of conflict in Sudan,” he added.

Mathok cited that the consultation meeting will continue to reach out to all Sudanese political parties, civil societies, and stakeholders, including warring parties, with the exception of the National Congress Party (NCP).

He added that all peace initiatives must be integrated under one umbrella, adding that they support Jeddah talks but expressed worries about the continued war in Sudan.

This month, leaders from the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), fully supported President Salva Kiir Mayardit in his efforts to convince the warring parties in Sudan to end the ongoing conflict.

The IGAD leaders’ backing of President Salva Kiir’s effort to mediate peace in Sudan came as a change of tune from the IGAD mediation process.

Kenyan President Dr. William Ruto leads an IGAD mediation committee, referred to as the Quartet Group, deputized by South Sudan, with the membership of Ethiopia and Somalia.

The committee was tasked with mediating an end to Sudan’s war.

But Sudan’s government under General al-Burkan rejected Kenya’s spearheading, accusing President Ruto of supporting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), allegations he denies.

Two weeks ago, the European Union Deputy Head of Delegation in South Sudan, Mr. Lothar Jaschke, said the EU supports South Sudan’s mediation role in the Sudan conflict, mainly that of President Kiir.

In October 2023, the 14 Sudanese political tracks, signatories to the 2020 Juba peace agreement, gave the green light for Salva Kiir’s administration to invite the Sudanese political parties and stakeholders to Juba.

In their communiqué from the two-day meeting, the Juba peace accord signatories agreed for South Sudan to host a grand consultation meeting in preparation for genuine Sudanese peace talks in Juba.

“The meeting was to devise ways to bring the war in Sudan to an end, and 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 the communiqué.

Party signatories to the Juba Peace Agreement held a meeting with President Kiir and said South Sudan was the best choice to bring peace to Sudan.

Sudan has been reeling after an armed conflict between the army and Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces erupted over control of the country.

Since then, at least 9,500 people have died, and more than 5.3 million have been displaced.

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