Sudan’s warring lords general Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council of the Republic of Sudan, and his rival Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (aka Hemedti), commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), have agreed to hold a face-to-face meeting. IGAD is expected to make preparations and designate a team of senior diplomats and interlocutors for the talks.
After a meeting on Saturday in Djibouti, leaders of IGAD member states tasked Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), the Executive Secretary of IGAD, to “present, within the shortest time possible to the IGAD Council of Ministers a candidate(s) for appointment as the IGAD Special Envoy to Sudan, reporting to the Executive Secretary,” and also “coordinate and lead IGAD mediation efforts in accordance with the IGAD Roadmap for the Peace Process in Sudan.”
According to the communiqué issued by IGAD on December 9, the two generals have also accepted the proposals of the IGAD Assembly for an unconditional ceasefire, and resolution of the conflict through political dialogue. The 41st IGAD extraordinary assembly was held on the same day in Djibouti in the presence of leaders from all member countries as well as the AU and UN. PM Abiy Ahmed, US Special Envoy Mike Hammer, Mousa Faki Mehmet, and Saudi Arabia’s ambassador Faisal Bin Sultan Al-Qabbani, were also present. While Al-Burhan was in attendance, Hemedti was not.
Apart from mediating talks between the two generals, the IGAD general assembly has also “decided to fast-track efforts in organizing an IGAD-AU facilitated all-inclusive Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led civilian dialogue aimed at forging national consensus towards the formation of a civilian-led transition that will culminate in the holding of open, transparent and democratic elections,” reads the communiqué.
The unified, Africa-anchored mediation process will be coordinated at the various national, regional, continental and international efforts and tracks under the auspices of IGAD and the AU.