RSF thanks eastern African block for summit to end Sudan conflict

Sudan’s RSF on Monday welcomed an eastern African bloc meeting held in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa to resolve the crisis in the country, stating that their participation in the meeting was to find a peaceful solution that leads to the end of war and return to democratic rule.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an east African regional bloc, extended an invitation to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), for a meeting in the Ethiopian capital on Monday.

A representative from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) participated in the “quartet” meeting led by Kenya, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

Sudan’s foreign ministry announced on Monday that its delegation would abstain from participating in the talks until its demand to replace Kenya as the chair of the negotiations was fulfilled.

The ministry had asked for “Kenyan President William Ruto (to) be replaced… in particular because of his partiality”, the statement said.

RSF said army’s boycott of the summit “clearly reveals” decision making mechanism in the military institutions had been “hijacked,” and there are elements that are seeking to “prolong the war.”

IGAD expressed regret over the absence of a Sudanese army delegation, stating that it had previously confirmed its attendance for the meeting.

RSF added that desire of the “defunct regime” was to continue the war by indiscriminate air strikes and heavy artillery on residential sites, obstructing the arrival of humanitarian aid to Darfur and by classifying citizens on a racial and tribal basis.

In a statement, IGAD disclosed that it had reached an agreement to request a summit of the Eastern Africa Standby Force, a 10-member regional body, to assess the feasibility of deploying the EASF for the purpose of safeguarding civilians and ensuring humanitarian access.

After the meeting, Kenya’s President Ruto advocated for an unconditional ceasefire and proposed the creation of a humanitarian zone in Khartoum, with a radius of 30 kilometers.

This zone would facilitate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance.

Established in 1996, The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa, including Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Uganda.

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