Kenya to push on with IGAD mandate despite Sudan protest

President William Ruto chairs the virtual IGAD meeting on the crisis in Sudan. [PCS]

Kenya has denounced Sudan's rejection of her chairmanship to the IGAD mediation team on the country's internal conflict.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through Principal Secretary Korir Sing'oei, said Sudan has no capacity to reject a mandate conferred on Kenya at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit in Djibouti.

"There's no official communication on this yet," Sing'oei tweeted on Thursday evening.

He continued: "Both the inclusion of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to the Troika mandated to seek peace in Sudan crisis and appointment of President William Ruto to lead the quartet was arrived at by the IGAD Summit and only can be vacated by the summit."

On Thursday, Sudan, in a statement said it had rejected Kenya's chairmanship to the IGAD Peace Committee.

Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that the Kenyan government and some senior officials have adopted the position of the rebel group, (Rapid Support Forces) battling the country's army.

"Sudan has informed the IGAD leadership and its executive secretariat on its position on the need for South Sudan President Salva Kiir to continue the chairmanship of the quartet," read a statement from Sudan's Foreign minister.

The Sudanese foreign ministry further said President Ruto's chairmanship of the quartet was not discussed during the meeting in Djibouti on June 12.

"In terms of procedure, it is not possible to adopt or approve a subject that was not raised or discussed during the deliberations."

On June 13, Kenya was picked to spearhead the dialogue between warring factions in Sudan and usher the conflict-ridden country towards a democratic political dispensation at the IGAD summit in Djibouti.

All proposals by Kenya were adopted during the summit, including the declaration of an unconditional ceasefire where Ruto noted that the step was crucial to facilitate a negotiated settlement of the dispute, preventing further loss of life, destruction of property, and damage to critical infrastructure.

"I would propose that President Kiir makes arrangements for the three of us to meet with the two Generals, or their representatives, at a convenient place or even virtually, to secure their commitment to peace. In order to secure the entire country, this line of action should build on the Juba process and continue engaging with all armed groups in Sudan to prevent them from becoming spoilers to the process," said Ruto.

IGAD is currently leading peace efforts to bring the two warring factions to the negotiating table as a mediation team including Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Djibouti is organising talks between the rivals.