Sudanese gov’t rejects deployment of any foreign troops on its soil

By Xinhua
On 12 July 2023 at 07:03

The Sudanese government on Tuesday rejected the deployment of any foreign troops on its territory, in response to a proposal by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

"The government of Sudan reaffirms its rejection of the deployment of foreign forces in Sudan and will consider them aggressors," Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry expressed astonishment over the statements by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, who said there was a vacuum in the state leadership in Sudan.

"The government of Sudan considers such statements as an infringement on Sudan’s sovereignty, which is unacceptable," the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said.

"Sudan has notified the IGAD that disrespect for member states’ opinions will make Sudan reconsider the feasibility of its membership in the organization," it added.

On Monday, a meeting of the IGAD quartet committee was held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to discuss the implementation of the IGAD roadmap for peace in Sudan.

The Sudanese army delegation boycotted the meeting in protest against Kenya’s chairmanship of the quartet committee, which also includes Ethiopia, Djibouti and South Sudan, while Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) welcomed the meeting.

The Sudanese government has been calling for a change in the committee’s chairmanship since the IGAD summit in Djibouti in June, citing Kenyan President William Ruto’s lack of "impartiality" in the ongoing crisis, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

In a communique issued at the end of the one-day meeting, the IGAD quartet group urged the Sudanese warring parties to agree on an "unconditional and indefinite" cease-fire.

It also decided to request the convening of the East Africa Standby Force (EASF) summit to consider the possible deployment of the EASF to protect civilians and ensure humanitarian access.

At the 14th ordinary session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Djibouti on June 12, an initiative was adopted, including a roadmap for resolving the Sudanese conflict.

The roadmap outlined the establishment of a quartet committee chaired by Kenya to oversee the Sudanese issue, organize face-to-face meetings between the Sudanese warring factions, and initiate an inclusive process toward a political settlement within three weeks.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the army and the RSF across the country since April 15, which have so far left over 3,000 people killed and 6,000 others injured, according to the Sudanese Health Ministry.

More than 2.8 million people in Sudan have been displaced by the violence, including 2.2 million internally displaced, according to UN estimates.

Presidential protection guards from South Sudan's People Defence Force (SSPDF) stand in a formation at their training site. (Photo by Reuters)