IGAD considers deploying East Africa Standby Forces in Sudan

The regional body  -IGAD has resolved to consider the deployment of the East Africa Standby Forces in Sudan to safeguard the lives of civilians as the fighting continue to escalate in Sudan between Rapid Support Forces and the Sudan army.

The meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the IGAD Quartet Group of Countries on Monday met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to deliberate on Sudan situation especially on peace efforts in the country and the states resolved to request the summit of the EAst Africa Standby Forces to consider sending intervention for citizens safety.

The resolution was reached in absence of Sudan army delegation who boycotted the mediators meeting Chaired by Kenyan President William Samoei Ruto.

“(IGAD) resolves to request the East Africa Standby Force (EASF) summit to convene in order to consider the possible deployment of the EASF for the protection of civilians and guarantee humanitarian access;” the IGAD Communique reads.

The intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said they are concerned by the degenerating humanitarian situation in the Sudan and decided to take concrete steps to facilitate immediate humanitarian assistance to all Sudanese affected by the conflict especially the vulnerable population in particular, Women Children and Persons living with disability.

They body also expressed frustration over boycotting of the mediators’ meeting by the delegation of the Sudan army -principal group in the Sudan war.

“The IGAD Quartet group of countries notes the regrettable absence of the delegation of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in spite of the invitation and confirmation of attendance,” Communique partly reads.

The Sudan Army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had earlier in June rejected appointment of Kenyan President William Ruto to lead the quartet group (Troika on Sudan) and preferred that the quarter be led by the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The IGAD quartet group of countries includes Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Somalia.

The group was tasked by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to bring Al-Burhan and his rival Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to the negotiation table.

The group notes the efforts of African Union and the importantly role that the neighboring countries can play in bringing total peace to Sudan.

“The IGAD Quartet appreciates the African Union for closely working in coordination with the IGAD Quartet in harmonizing efforts towards the implementation of a common roadmap for the peaceful resolution of the crisis in the Republic of Sudan,” the group communicated.

Takes note of the planned meeting of states neighboring the Republic of Sudan scheduled to be held in the Republic of Egypt on Thursday, 13th July 2023 and welcome the complementary role that this initiative will play in supporting the shared objectives of the IGAD Quartet for peace and stability in the Republic of Sudan;”

Since the fighting broke out on April 15, 2023 between Rapid Support Forces and the Sudan Army over failed planned integration of forces, media reports that at least close 5,000 people have been killed and more than 8,000 are injured.

As of July 2023, 2.2 million are reportedly internally displaced and 645,000 had fled the country as refugees.