Sudan conflict: Chad summit strives for ceasefire

Delegates at the N'Djamena summit (Photo: Egypt Foreign Ministry)

The first meeting of the Ministerial Mechanism of Sudan’s neighbouring countries concluded in the Chadian capital N’Djamena yesterday with agreement among the delegates for a three-part action plan for a final ceasefire. The meeting’s outcomes were commended by Sudanese lawyer El Moez Hazrat, who highlighted their potential to put an end to the conflict between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Chadian President Mahamat Idris Deby hosted the foreign ministers of Sudan’s neighbouring countries for the first session of the Ministerial Mechanism for Sudan that began on Sunday. The meeting addressed the situation in Sudan across three key areas, namely security, the political landscape, and humanitarian context.

During the meeting, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry emphasised that “the Sudanese people are not involved in this conflict or its underlying causes. The responsibility rests with neighbouring countries to extend a helping hand to Sudan.” Chad presented proposals to the participating delegations, which were subjected to expert review.

Shoukry further noted that Egypt has embarked on tangible steps towards achieving the objective of reconciliation. These measures included hosting meetings with the mainstream Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC-Central Council) in Cairo on July 24 and 25.

Shoukry said “we are not here to impose solutions or dictate terms to any party. Our leaders anticipate practical and feasible solutions and recommendations from us. They expect us to speak in unison to attain a common objective: to persuade the conflicting parties to immediately halt hostilities”.

Shoukry underscored the prevailing uncertainty surrounding the Sudanese political process, with no discernible indications of a new trajectory. He called for prompt propositions from Sudan’s neighbouring countries to address the humanitarian crisis.

Collective summit

The collective summit of Sudan’s neighbouring countries, which was held in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 13, assembled the leaders of Sudan’s seven neighbours: Egypt, Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. In that meeting, the leaders endorsed a communication mechanism overseen by the foreign ministers of the participating nations.

The mechanism was tasked with discussing the executive measures required to address the repercussions of the ongoing war on the future and stability of Sudan, its unity and territorial integrity, and ways to preserve its national institutions and preventing their collapse.

Sudanese lawyer El Moez Hazrat commented on the meeting in an interview with Radio Dabanga. Characterising it a necessary and welcome effort to resolve the Sudanese crisis and terminate the ongoing conflict, he said “the statements made by foreign ministers assembled in N’Djamena resonate with and enjoy the support of the Sudanese people”.

Hazrat commended the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs for absolving the Sudanese people of responsibility for the ongoing conflict. He emphasised that Sudan’s neighbouring nations are “among the earliest impacted by the conflict”.

The lawyer advocated for this initiative to converge with other endeavours, such as the Jeddah negotiations platform mediated by the USA and Saudi Arabia, as well as the IGAD Quartet initiative.

He called upon the international community to take resolute actions to urgently establish secure passages to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians, coupled with a lasting ceasefire to halt the conflict.