Sudan has announced the suspension of all interactions with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), accusing the regional bloc of violating its sovereignty.
This decision is expected to strain ongoing peace efforts to end the conflict in the country. The Sudanese Foreign Ministry, which has recently been critical of Igad, declared that it would no longer cooperate with the bloc on any Sudanese affairs.
This announcement came just 47 hours before an extraordinary meeting scheduled in Entebbe, Uganda, where Igad planned to discuss the ongoing war in Sudan.
Sudan had previously communicated that it would not attend the summit, objecting to Igad’s invitation to Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the leader of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), whom the Khartoum junta considers a militia leader.
Sudan conveyed to Djibouti, the current chair of Igad, its decision to cease engagement and freeze dealings with Igad concerning the current crisis.
The ministry accused Igad of violating Sudan’s sovereignty by including the Sudan crisis on the agenda of the upcoming heads of state and government summit in Entebbe without prior consultation. Additionally, it criticized Igad for inviting the leader of a militia, referring to Hemedti, the RSF commander.
Sudan denounced the invitation of Hemedti as a “serious breach” of the Igad Charter and the rules governing the work of international and regional organizations.
Meanwhile, the Sovereignty Council, led by army commander Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had previously declined an invitation from Igad to attend a summit discussing the country’s situation.
Despite Sudan’s refusal, Hemedti declared that he would participate in the Igad summit in Entebbe. Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh called for the extraordinary summit to address the situation in Sudan and the dispute between Ethiopia and Somalia.
Igad aims to intensify efforts to pressure both sides in the Sudanese military conflict to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict.
The rift between Sudan and Igad adds complexity to the ongoing peace process and highlights the challenges in achieving consensus among stakeholders in the region regarding Sudan’s political and security situation.