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Kenya to Lead Sudan Peace Talks Amidst Controversy

Kenya has been chosen to spearhead the IGAD-mandated Sudan peace talks, scheduled in August as revealed by The quartet of foreign ministers from IGAD.


IGAD consists of Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and South Sudan. They endorsed a roadmap for peace negotiations but the decision has faced resistance from the camp led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Khartoum.

In a virtual meeting, the quartet expressed their commitment to facilitate the mediation process, that aims for a transition to civilian rule. They announced that Nairobi will lead the process, which is expected to begin as from mid-July or the first week of August 2023.

Kenya to Lead Sudan Peace Talks Amidst Controversy
Kenya to Lead Sudan Peace Talks Amidst Controversy. PHOTO/Courtesy: IGAD.

This is despite the quartet’s endorsement, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, under al-Burhan’s control, objection to Kenya’s leadership.

“Sudan is not concerned with the outcome of the meeting, because it is still waiting for a response from the IGAD regarding Sudan’s objection to Kenya’s chairmanship of the quartet committee,” Sudan’s MFA stated on Monday.

Sudan’s objection comes from their discontent with the way Kenya has handled the mediation file and their refusal to recognize Hemetti, who deputized al-Burhan in the transitional sovereign council.

“The way in which the Kenyan government deals with the mediation file contradicts with the basic principles of the IGAD, represented in respecting the sovereignty of states,” the ministry said.

Despite the objection, IGAD released a ten-point outcome document, indicating progress in regards to Monday’s virtual session. The quartet committee approved the proposal to appoint a Special Envoy of IGAD, who will lead liaison efforts in the peace process.

Kenya’s Foreign Office recently affirmed that the IGAD-mandated talks would proceed under President Ruto’s leadership. Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing’Oei emphasized that the exercise would not be dictated by the warring parties but guided by regional and international decisions.

“We shall continue to work with all to urgently restore peace in Sudan based on an inclusive process as guided by decisions of regional and international mechanisms rather than the views of any side to the conflict,” Sing’Oei said.

The upcoming peace talks hold significant importance for Sudan, as the country continues its transition following the coup d’état in April 2019, which led to the downfall of former President Omar al-Bashir.

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