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Sudan steps aside from eastern African bloc

Intergovernmental Authority on Development
Intergovernmental Authority on Development

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday the country has frozen its membership in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an east African bloc.

Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, informed the president of the current session of the IGAD of Sudan’s decision to freeze its membership in the bloc, the ministry said in a statement. According to the statement, Sudan’s move came as a result of “the IGAD’s disregard of Sudan’s decision, which was officially conveyed to it, to freeze dealing with the bloc on any issues related to Sudan, which did not happen at the IGAD’s extraordinary summit held in Uganda on Thursday.” On Jan. 18, the IGAD held a summit in the Ugandan capital of Kampala where Sudan’s crisis was part of the summit’s agenda. Sudan boycotted the summit. The Sudanese Foreign Ministry further said that the final communique of the IGAD summit contained statements violating Sudan’s sovereignty, pointing out that the Sudanese government does not abide by and is not concerned with everything issued by the IGAD regarding the Sudanese affairs.

On Dec. 9, 2023, the IGAD had approved during an emergency summit in Djibouti, the current chair country of the IGAD, that a meeting would be held between the leaders of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) within two weeks, but later said the meeting was postponed for “technical reasons.” Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the SAF and the RSF since April 15, 2023. More than 12,000 people have been killed, and over 7.4 million have been displaced inside and outside Sudan since the fighting broke out, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The IGAD has been intensifying pressure on the Sudanese warring parties to sign a truce agreement to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the war-affected population.

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