Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Sudan: IGAD Chair Ruto Talks With Sudan Leader Burhan After Meeting Snub

Harare — Kenya’s President William Ruto talked with Sudan junta head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on July 16 – in what is being seen as the first step since the Sudanese army chief explicitly rejected Kenya’s mediation role.

Ruto also spoke with the president of Chad on the situation in Sudan.

“Held a telephone call with the Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan. In my capacity as chair of the IGAD Quartet of Heads of States on Sudan, I also spoke with the President of Chad General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno; our conversation centered around the speedy restoration of normalcy in Sudan and support for refugee-hosting countries,” Ruto said in a statement.

General Burhan, who leads the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) that is fighting against his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, alias Hemedti, and his Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, had previously rejected mediation efforts by four members of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) headed by the president of Kenya.

Although the specifics of the phone call were not disclosed, it indicates Ruto’s attempt to demonstrate his neutrality in the face of allegations of tight economic links with Hemedti, even though Burhan has not offered proof to support his assertions.

Ruto called for an end to the conflict, which began on April 15 of this year, as well as parallel mediation forums to seek a long-term truce and humanitarian corridor.

“The IGAD and Jeddah processes must work together to facilitate the realisation of a permanent ceasefire in Sudan. They must also push for the free movement of humanitarian assistance, the protection of refugees and the reactivation of the Political Process,” Ruto said.

Earlier, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said that he was investigating fresh allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region, including the recent killings of 87 members of the ethnic Masalit community, reportedly carried out by the Rapid Security Forces and its militia.