- Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council for the month of May 2023;
- Your Excellency Azali Assoumani, President of the Union of the Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union;
- Excellencies Heads of State and Government;
- Your Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission;
- Your Excellency Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations;
- Your Excellency Ahmen Aboul Gheit, Executive Secretary of the League of Arab States;
- Your Excellency, Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt;
- Ladies and gentlemen;
- All protocols duly observed;
I will begin my briefing to you by once again thanking the President of the Republic of Uganda and the Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council for the month of May 2023, H.E. Yoweri Museveni, for convening this timely meeting on the situation in Sudan.
Your unwavering commitment to the cause of peace, your wisdom and guidance of the highest organ of the Council is most critical at this time to help resolve the crisis in the Republic of Sudan.
As this meeting is taking place only 2 days after the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the then Organization of African Unity and now our African Union, it is well in in order for me to wish us all a Happy Africa Day!
The conflict that broke out on 15th April 2023 in our Member State the Republic of Sudan has continued recurrently in the face of several ceasefire agreements reached between the parties over the last 6 weeks. The most recent of these violated ceasefire agreements relates to the agreement dated 20th May 2023 signed in Jeddah, under the mediation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.
While IGAD welcomes and continues to support the negotiations in Jeddah, the continued violation of agreements in our view, calls for the need to assess, reconsider and rethink the strategy and approach followed thus far in engaging the combatants.
The continued violation of agreements has seriously eroded the trust and confidence of Sudanese people as well as all other peace- loving communities in the region and around the world, on the inclination of the warring parties to peacefully resolve their differences and also of our commitment as members of the international community to help achieve this essential goal.
In the spirit of “African solutions to African problems”, it is high time for us as IGAD and the African Union and friends of Sudan to step up to the fore and lead efforts in securing a lasting solution to not just the ongoing conflict, but also the underlying causes of it so that we can collectively establish a lasting peace.
As we speak, hundreds of civilians have died; thousands are lying injured and close to a million people have been displaced. With the conflict raging on and with no signs of it abating, the human and material costs are rising. The chances of resolving the dispute amicably are declining every day that decisive action is needed but not taken.
It is a fact that the impact of this conflict has already spilled over to neighbouring countries and has begun to complicate and compound other existing crises in our region, our continent and the world at large.
Therefore, it at this juncture that, I emphasize that the call for “African solutions to African problems” is an ideal that should be believed in and pursued with collective urgency and vigour.
In this vein, the IGAD has been at the forefront of proactive engagement, starting with the emergency virtual summit of Heads of State and Government that convened within less than 24 hours of the outbreak of hostilities between the warring parties.
This summit meeting established a High-Level Delegation led by H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, and comprising of H.E. Dr. William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, and H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, to continuously and consistently engage with the leadership of Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces with a view to resolving differences through peaceful negotiations and inclusive dialogue between themselves and also with all stakeholders of the Republic of Sudan.
I remain optimistic that with the necessary support from other African countries and the international community, the High-Level Delegation shall achieve a momentous breakthrough for a lasting peace in the Republic of Sudan. IGAD therefore calls on the AU Peace and Security Council and the international community to leverage, supplement and support this African initiative based on the principle of subsidiarity and complementarity.
It is also my privilege to inform this august gathering that H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit is convening a meeting of the High- Level Delegation of the three Presidents very soon in Juba, Republic of South Sudan.
This meeting will continue to take stock of the situation in Sudan and efforts made so far and compare notes on what the region and the international community can do better and differently to help resolve the crisis sooner rather than later.
IGAD is also scheduled to hold an Ordinary Meeting of its Heads of State and Government on 12th June 2023, in Djibouti, the Republic of Djibouti, where the situation in Sudan will be discussed. This will be the second time the IGAD Heads of State and Government are meeting within the 2-month period since the conflict broke out in Sudan.
Moreover, in line with the spirit of the communique of the 40th Extraordinary IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government that called for humanitarian access and provision of services, IGAD has established a special committee to coordinate regional humanitarian response. As we speak, members of this committee are already in Port Sudan to assess the situation and coordinate with the specialized humanitarian organizations that are already on the ground.
The only way we can stop the fighting in Sudan is to coordinate our efforts to pull together in the same direction and synchronize our collective actions to be more effective.
I know we all have a shared purpose and goal for the restoration of peace in the Republic of Sudan, to silence the guns and resume an inclusive Sudanese-led Sudanese-owned political process that will pave the way towards the formation of a civilian-led transitional government.
As our recent experiences from the region show, the chances of success are higher when our efforts are coordinated and frontline states are actively involved and engaged in finding solutions.
I will end my remarks by reiterating IGAD’s unwavering commitment to continue working and coordinating closely with the United Nations and other continental and international actors in the spirit of multilateralism to achieve a permanent ceasefire and resumption of an inclusive political process in Sudan.
Let us put our heads, hearts and hands together to support the aspiration of our brothers and sisters the Sudanese people for durable peace and democracy.
I thank you for your attention.
Download the attached Speech in PDF below