Mohamed A. Idris, the Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan to the United States, has confirmed the suspension of Sudan’s participation in the ceasefire agreement. The announcement was made during a high-level event hosted by HWPL, an international peacemaking NGO, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on May 31, 2023. Ambassador Idris also emphasized the importance of the Biden Administration’s ongoing efforts in the region.
Today’s event, organized by HWPL, sought to raise awareness and garner support for those affected by the Sudan crisis and other conflicts worldwide. The commemoration marked the 10th anniversary of HWPL’s Declaration of Peace, providing a platform to address peace and security concerns on a global scale.
At the event, Ambassador Idris addressed Sudan’s challenges and emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution. He clarified that the conflict in Sudan should not be simplified as a struggle for power between two generals, but rather an insurgency by a faction within the military known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The Ambassador highlighted the occupation of civilian houses and government institutions by the RSF, which poses significant challenges to the Sudanese government and the affected population.
Despite the ongoing efforts of the Sudanese government and regional organizations, including the African Union (AU), to address the conflict, Ambassador Idris expressed concern over the RSF’s failure to respect the ceasefire agreements.
He emphasized the importance of both parties honoring their commitments to achieve lasting peace. As a result of the RSF’s lack of adherence to the agreed-upon terms, Sudan has suspended its participation in the ceasefire.
When questioned about the role of the Biden administration, Ambassador Idris called for continued efforts and urged increased pressure on the RSF to comply with the ceasefire. He also stressed the crucial need for heightened humanitarian assistance to support the affected population in Sudan.
In response to queries about who is currently in charge of Sudan, Ambassador Idris confirmed that the government of Sudan, led by General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan, remains in control of the country. He clarified that while specific regions are experiencing disruptions due to the RSF’s insurgency, 90% of Sudan’s territory remains stable and unaffected by the conflict.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Gordon Buay Malek, the Deputy Chief of Mission to South Sudan in Washington DC, also addressed the audience at the HWPL event. Notably, Sudan and South Sudan were once a unified country until South Sudan gained its independence in 2011. Currently, South Sudan has no permanent Ambassador to the United States.
In his remarks, Ambassador Malek expressed gratitude to the organization for their warm welcome and highlighted the interconnected challenges faced by Sudan and South Sudan.
As he pointed out, South Sudan has been diligently working towards implementing a peace agreement signed in 2018, following their civil war. However, while making progress in their peace efforts, they now face a new challenge arising from the complex situation in Sudan.
Ambassador Malek acknowledged that the ongoing conflict in Sudan holds significant implications not only for the country itself but also for regional stability. He emphasized that the conflict’s consequences would extend beyond Sudan’s borders, affecting neighboring countries and even regions as distant as West Africa.
Ambassador Malek underscored the importance of peace in Sudan, mainly due to the critical role Sudan plays in the oil industry. The oil facilities crucial for South Sudan’s economy are located in Sudan. Hence, stability and peace in Sudan are vital for the continued existence and development of South Sudan.
He described the complexity of the conflict in Sudan, involving not only governments but also various communities, including churches and other countries. Furthermore, the involvement of superpowers and organizations such as Wagner adds another layer of complexity to the situation.
Recognizing the urgency to halt the war, Ambassador Malek appealed for support from the organization and emphasized the need to educate civil society on fostering peace in Sudan. He urged the organization to bring together activists, women, and children who are the most vulnerable and affected by the conflict. Ambassador Malek stressed the significance of advocating for international partners to intensify their efforts in ending the conflict and ensuring the safety and well-being of women and children.
Highlighting the intertwined nature of Sudan and South Sudan’s fates, he requested the organization’s attention not only on Sudan but also on the interconnectedness of the two countries. With South Sudan receiving an influx of 10,000 refugees daily from Sudan, Ambassador Malek expressed concerns about the strain it places on South Sudan’s resources and its ability to provide for the refugees while still recovering from their conflict. He called for support from the international community to address this challenging situation.
The suspension of Sudan’s participation in the ceasefire reflects the government’s commitment to achieving a peaceful resolution while demanding reciprocity and respect from the RSF. The situation in Sudan remains dynamic, and the international community, including the Biden administration, plays a pivotal role in supporting efforts for sustainable and lasting peace in the country.