Despite an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant against Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir, he will attend a summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to discuss security and humanitarian conditions in South Sudan, the Sudan Foreign Ministry confirmed.
In a statement Abdul-Ghani Al-Naeem, the undersecretary of Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said: “The president’s participation in the summit comes as part of his personal concern with the situation in the Republic of South Sudan, and as part of his continued endeavours to stop the war and achieve peace and stability in the south.”
The summit is due to be attended by head of states from the Horn of Africa, including Djibouti and Ethiopia, and the Great Lakes including Kenya and Uganda, in addition to Sudan and South Sudan.
The foreign ministry also confirmed that the summit would discuss political instability in South Sudan and focus on how best to implement the peace deal that was signed in August 2015 by President of South Sudan Silva Kirr and his rival, the ousted Vice President Riak Machar.
Al-Naeem added that a meeting in Khartoum with US Charge d’Affairs, Steven Koutsis, was also held to discuss Sudan’s efforts to improve security and stability and to restore peace to South Sudan. Both sides agreed to support calls for a cease-fire and an end to the hostilities.
Last month the United Nations praised Sudan’s efforts to support national fundraising efforts of charity organisations to assist those in need in a bid to ease the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Sudan has opened humanitarian corridors to supply aid and currently hosts 400,000 South Sudanese refugees inside its borders.
However, Sudan has intermittently accused South Sudan of supporting armed rebel groups in Darfur fighting the government while South Sudan have accused Khartoum of supporting groups hostile to its government in Juba. Both sides deny interfering into each other’s internal affairs.