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Amid Regional and International Participation – Commencement of IGAD Summit to Discuss Developments in Sudan

Al-Burhan: Signing the Jeddah Declaration for Humanitarian Principles was a real and early opportunity to peacefully end the crisis if the rebels had adhered to what was signed.

Djibouti, 9th December 2023

The extraordinary forty-first session of the IGAD Heads of State and Government kicked off in Djibouti, with the presence of the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant General Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan, and the participation of the U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Ramtane Lamamra, and the Special Envoy of the European Union, Annette Weber, alongside presidents and representatives of IGAD member states.

Several presidents addressed the summit, emphasizing the importance of ending the war, establishing peace in Sudan, sustaining security and stability, and achieving the aspirations of the Sudanese people for the desired democratic transition.

The Chairman of the Sovereignty Council delivered an additional speech, discussing the efforts made to peacefully resolve the Sudanese crisis, reaffirming the commitment to peace, bloodshed prevention, and halting the systematic destruction plaguing the country.

Al-Burhan stressed that signing the Jeddah Declaration for Humanitarian Principles was a real and early opportunity to end the crisis peacefully if the rebels had adhered to the agreement. However, it became evident, without room for doubt, that the rebels lacked any political will to halt their war against the state and citizens.

He underscored the importance of this summit, expressing full confidence that IGAD can play a fundamental role, being the organization closest to understanding Sudan’s reality. He expressed hope that the summit would result in decisions and recommendations facilitating the achievement of this goal.

Al-Burhan stated, “Despite the barbaric attacks never witnessed in our contemporary history by the rebellious Rapid Support Forces militia and its heinous aggression against innocent civilians, including murder, ethnic cleansing, rape, looting of private property, and deliberate destruction of public institutions and infrastructure, we have not closed the door to peaceful solutions. We welcomed every sincere effort from IGAD, neighboring countries, and the Jeddah platform.”

He emphasized the urgency of addressing external interventions in the current crisis, manifested in the continuous supply of arms from within and outside the region and the ongoing influx of mercenaries from neighboring and distant countries, leading to prolonging the war and committing more atrocities.

Al-Burhan affirmed that the top priority for a peaceful solution to the Sudanese crisis involves adherence to the Jeddah Declaration for Humanitarian Principles by vacating civilian areas and citizens’ homes entirely. This includes ceasing hostilities, assembling rebel forces in agreed-upon areas, removing obstacles to providing urgent humanitarian aid to all those in need, returning looted items to citizens, followed by the initiation of a comprehensive political process based on genuine national will to reach a national consensus on transitional governance and conduct general elections.

He stressed the need to protect Sudan’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and people, rejecting all foreign interventions in the country’s internal affairs. He stated, “The issue of having one national army, monopolizing the use of military force, is a non-negotiable matter and one we will not compromise on, as it is a fundamental guarantee for stability and peace, not only in Sudan but in the entire region.”

Additionally, he added that bearing arms and waging war against the state cannot be a means to obtain undeserved political privileges. Access to power can only be achieved through elections. He affirmed that accountability and not allowing impunity for the unprecedented atrocities committed by the rebels are the only way to prevent their recurrence, achieve justice, and mend the social fabric for stability.

Media Office of the Transitional Sovereignty Council

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