The Sudanese government has opted to suspend its membership in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) against the backdrop of prolonged internal conflict.
The conflict, which has been ongoing since April 15, 2023, involves the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and the displacement of over seven million people.
Sudan’s foreign ministry announced that Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the de facto leader of Sudan, conveyed the government’s decision to suspend its IGAD membership through a letter to President Ismail Omar Guelleho of Djibouti, the current chair of IGAD.
This decision was preceded by Sudan’s discontent with IGAD’s invitation to RSF head Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemedti) to a summit held in Uganda on January 18, 2023. Sudan had initially frozen its relations with IGAD, accusing the organization of violating Sudan’s sovereignty.
Despite Sudan’s absence, IGAD leaders at the summit reiterated their call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the Sudanese conflict and expressed their willingness to facilitate an inclusive peace process. They also urged a face-to-face meeting between Dagalo and Burhan within two weeks.
The Sudanese foreign ministry attributed the suspension of IGAD membership to this agenda item, which it claimed was added without Sudan’s approval. The ministry further accused the summit communique of violating Sudan’s sovereignty, leading to its decision to suspend its membership in IGAD.