Regional summit to resolve Sudan war kicks off in Cairo

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Jul 2023

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated, on Thursday morning in Cairo, Sudan's Neighbouring Countries' Summit, aimed at halting the bloodshed and managing its impact on neighbouring countries.

Summit
A still photo of the live streaming of Sudan s Neighbouring Countries Summit which Egypt is hosting on Thursday

 

In his speech, the Egyptian President addressed the crisis in Sudan, stating that it comprises security and stability in the region, neighbouring countries, and the world.

El-Sisi emphasized that the summit aims to "unify the vision and make decisions to resolve the crisis, in coordination with the African Union and the Arab League."

"I call for the establishment of a communication mechanism to directly engage with all parties involved," the Egyptian president added.

The summit is being attended by leaders from Sudan’s seven neighbouring countries Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central Africa, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, along with the secretary-general of the Arab League, and the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson.

Fighting between Sudan’s army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke out in the capital Khartoum in15 April, and has spread to the fragile Darfur and Kordofan regions.

More than 1,000 civilians have been killed and 700,000 displaced in neighbouring countries, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix.

El-Sisi stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of the crisis to reach a comprehensive political solution. He emphasized the need for an immediate and lasting cessation of military operations to avoid further complications.

The president underscored the importance of supporting neighbouring countries most affected by the repercussions of the crisis, noting that Egypt has already received hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees when the crisis began.

He called upon international parties “to fulfil their commitments and support the neighbouring countries of Sudan that are most affected by the crisis.”

The president pledged to “continue to deliver humanitarian aid from Egypt's borders to the affected areas in Sudan” and called for a comprehensive national dialogue that would include all of Sudan’s wide-reaching political forces to achieve a political solution.

El-Sisi urged the warring parties to facilitate the establishment of safe humanitarian corridors to deliver aid and to commence serious negotiations to effect a permanent ceasefire.

Participating leaders took to the stage to express their concerns over the repercussions of the conflict on their countries.

Central Africa’s Touadéra highlights threat to neighbours

 

President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra asserted that the armed conflict in Sudan poses a threat to the stability of neighbouring countries and hinders economic development.

"The repercussions of the war in Sudan go beyond borders and are felt by neighbouring countries," Touadéra stressed.

S Sudan’s Kiir demands expansion of IGAD initiative

 

President of South Sudan Salva Kiir seconded this concern, stating that Sudan's neighbouring countries have faced an influx of thousands of refugees, which puts pressure on the economic situation.

Kiir stressed the importance of putting in place a framework to discuss a comprehensive peaceful and political settlement in Sudan while "prioritizing the interests of the Sudanese people."

“Our priorities include finding African solutions to the continent's crises,” Kiir said.

He added that Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union are already working to end the conflict in Sudan. "I demand the expansion of the IGAD initiative to include the parties to the Sudanese crisis and neighbouring countries", he stated.

Eritrea’s Afwerki stresses Sudanese people’s role

 

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki said Sudan's neighbouring countries will work to resolve the crisis, but "the final word is for the Sudanese people without external intervention under any pretext."

Chad’s Déby appeals to int’l community

 

The transitional President of Chad Mahamat Idriss Déby expressed support for any efforts seeking a peaceful settlement in Sudan.

"We have received over 150,000 Sudanese refugees, mostly women and children, due to the conflict," Déby stated, adding that "We appeal to the international community to take action to address the Sudanese crisis."

Ethiopian PM stresses urgent settlement of crisis

 

Echoing these sentiments, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed emphasized the need to contain the conflict as soon as possible and address the waves of displacement to neighbouring countries.

"The conflict in Sudan must be resolved as soon as possible because the crisis has significant implications for the region and neighbouring countries," Ahmed said.

Libya’s Al-Menfi calls for integrating various initiatives

 

Libyan Presidential Council Chairman Mohamed Al-Menfi stated that Libya is ready to engage in any efforts to stop the war.

 He also called for unifying visions and initiatives to resolve the crisis in Sudan.

The summit seeks to set effective frameworks to peacefully settle the crisis in coordination with other regional and international tracks.

Egypt’s hosting of the summit is the result of “the keenness of President El-Sisi to formulate a joint vision for Sudan’s direct neighboring countries,” a previous presidential statement noted.

The leaders of Sudan's neighbouring countries are also expected to discuss mechanisms to address the dire humanitarian situation resulting from the influx of thousands of Sudanese refugees into their countries since the conflict broke out in mid-April.

Faki reviews AU roadmap

 

The Chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki highlighted the roadmap the commission has developed to address the crisis in Sudan.

Faki stated that on 27 May the commission "developed a roadmap that includes important mechanisms, such as a ceasefire and humanitarian aid, as well as the establishment of a comprehensive political dialogue.”

The roadmap will be coordinated with the concerned countries, he said.

Faki emphasized that the political mechanism should be derived from the Sudanese people without any external interference and stressed that the role of neighbouring countries is vital, and efforts must be coordinated to preserve Sudan and its neighbours.

Arab League highlights coordinated efforts

 

Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit stated that the League Council prioritizes finding ways to restore peace and stability in Sudan.

He pointed out that the council's meetings on Sudan have reiterated calls for an immediate cessation of all armed conflicts in order to stop the bloodshed and preserve the safety and security of civilians.

Aboul Gheit highlighted the Arab League's efforts in coordinating with the United Nations, the African Union, and relevant humanitarian organizations, given the significant challenge to peace and security in Sudan

Egypt’s efforts towards the Sudan crisis

 

Egypt has the highest number of refugees followed by Chad, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic (CAR).

In late June, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stated that Egypt has received over 250,000 Sudanese, which accounts for about 60 percent of the total number of Sudanese who have fled their country. Furthermore, there were already five million Sudanese living in Egypt.

Shoukry's remarks indicated that Egypt has offered approximately 300 tons of essential medical and food aid to those escaping the violence, and has helped evacuate roughly 10,000 foreign workers employed by diplomatic missions and international organizations.

Hundreds of tons of medical and relief aid have been provided to Sudan through Port Sudan, and tens of tons of international humanitarian aid have been transported to the country with Egypt's help.

At border crossings, the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) has established a humanitarian centre, while the Egyptian authorities have deployed 15 mobile clinics, several fixed clinics and pharmacies, and 12 medical convoys.

President El-Sisi stated last month that Egypt wants to resolve the Sudan crisis, voicing hope that stability would be restored in the nearest time possible.

He previously pointed out that what is happening in Sudan is an internal matter that "should never be interfered with so as not to inflame the status quo there."

El-Sisi emphasized Egypt's stance of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, warning of the consequences of interfering in Sudan's internal affairs.

 

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