JUBA, South Sudan: The conflict in Sudan has left a trail of destruction, with thousands of lives lost and the country̵7;s stability hanging by a thread. Various international actors have attempted to mediate and find a peaceful solution, but with limited success.
In light of these challenges, African regional bodies have emerged as potential interlocutors capable of promoting peace. But opinion is divided among analysts about the suitability of these institutions and their chances of success.
Experts suggest that the African Union’s successful mediation in the war in Ethiopia in early November last year provided a compelling example for an African-led effort to resolve the crisis in Sudan.
Another body looking for a solution is the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, or IGAD – an eight-member trade body headquartered in Djibouti, of which Sudan is a member.
On 12 June, the IGAD held its 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Djibouti, with Malik Agar, Vice President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of the Republic of Sudan, serving as chairman.
In its final communique, IGAD members outlined a road map for peace in Sudan, which committed countries including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan to a series of action points.
Within 10 days of adopting the road map, the Kenya-led quartet committed to organize a face-to-face meeting between Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, chief of the Sudanese armed forces, and Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces. The paramilitary Rapid Support Force, in one of the region’s capitals.
The Quartet was also tasked with securing a commitment from the leadership of the SAF and RSF to establish a humanitarian corridor within two weeks of the adoption of the Road Map and to launch an inclusive political process towards a political solution to the conflict within three weeks Has gone.
However, the chances of the quartet meeting such a tight deadline are slim. According to a Sudanese official who spoke to the AFP wire agency on Tuesday, al-Burhan ruled out talks with Hemedti.
The Sudanese government official, who was not authorized to speak to the media, said: “Under the current circumstances al-Burhan will not sit at the same table with Hemedti.”
Furthermore, Sudan has reportedly rejected Kenya’s chairmanship of the quartet, citing Nairobi’s alleged alignment with the RSF. Sudanese officials reportedly prefer President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan to preside.
The Sudanese delegation also expressed disagreement with some paragraphs in the final communiqué.
The IGAD assembly took place shortly after the suspension of the Jeddah talks – due to the perceived lack of seriousness of the parties involved in the ceasefire effort by Saudi Arabia and the US.
During the assembly, Sudan’s Agar, who assumed the role following Hemedti’s dismissal on 19 May, highlighted the urgency of a serious peace process under the auspices of the IGAD Road Map.
He added that the engagement of the UN and the African Union with all major stakeholders involved in Sudan’s peace process would be critical, calling for the provision of the necessary technical and political support from these partners.
Agar called for the consolidation of all existing mediation initiatives to avoid complications. He said that the focus at this stage should not be on political processes or power deals.
South Sudan’s Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Deng Dau Deng Malek also emphasized the important role of the IGAD in ending the conflict in Sudan.
“The primary focus of this road map is to establish a ceasefire, which gives priority to the immediate cessation of hostilities between the conflicting parties,” Malek told Arab News.
However, not everyone is convinced that African institutions are up to the task, often facing accusations of slowness and inefficiency when it comes to tackling the continent’s myriad challenges.
Speaking to Arab News, Brian Adeba, deputy director of policy at The Sentry, an organization that monitors corruption and human rights violations in Africa, called on the African bodies to focus on “significant ceasefire violations as well as significant ceasefire violations”. Accused of failing to act, which has fueled it.” Spoilers everywhere and became the reason for increasing the conflict. ,
Fidel Amake Owusu, a security analyst, also expressed doubt on the “effectiveness” of the IGAD. He told Arab News that only Kenya, with its recent democratic transfer of power and commitment to democratic principles, had the moral right to represent democratic forces in Sudan.
However, other analysts suggest that leaders of African states that have recently emerged from their bouts of conflict may be well placed to assist in negotiations between Sudan’s warring parties.
“Their respective backgrounds in the military and first-hand experience of war make them good peace brokers,” Akol Miyan Kuol, a South Sudanese expert based in Nairobi, told Arab News.
Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan, Kuol said, “has been especially able to persuade rival leaders to seek peace.”
Even if the timing is wrong, an African solution to the African crisis may still be the right strategy. According to Ahmed Khair, a Sudan-based security expert who also spoke to Arab News, “These regional factions have already achieved positive results in the mediation process.”
Khair, however, said that any such conversation should not get bogged down in political rhetoric or detract from the ground reality.