Korir Sing'oei: Kenya to carry on with Sudan mediation role despite protest

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Dr. Korir Sing’oei during an interview on Spice FM on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Dr. Korir Sing’oei has reaffirmed the country's commitment to mediate peace as an agent of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Khartoum, Sudan.

His sentiments come amid criticisms from the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), who have claimed that Kenya, under the patronage of President William Ruto is taking sides in the peace talks.

In an interview with Spice FM on Wednesday, August 2, Sing’oei reiterated Kenya's dedication to mediating between the warring factions in Sudan.

The conflict involves army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy and ally, Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

"It may appear as if we are speaking too loudly on the issue, but we are compelled by the reality on the ground. We have to continue building trust with different players even when it appears there are various mistrust issues here and there," said Sing’oei.

President William Ruto is leading an IGAD sub-committee known as the Quartet Group, tasked with mediating an end to Sudan's ongoing conflict.

"What we are witnessing is a lack of unified action. There is significant internal fragmentation, making it challenging to attribute the views of one general as the controlling position of RSF,” the PS noted.

“We aim to refrain from involvement in the country's internal fighting, which is why President Ruto is engaging with the leader of RSF, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.”

Recently, IGAD proposed an initiative that involved deploying peacekeepers to Khartoum, but the Sudanese army rejected the Kenyan-led proposal, accusing Kenya of supporting the RSF.

They expressed hostility towards foreign peacekeepers, considering them enemy forces.

In response, Sudanese General Yassir al-Atta made provocative remarks to his troops, suggesting that Kenyan forces should be brought in instead of East African forces.

He also accused Kenya of being influenced by an unidentified third country.

Sing’oei, however, dismissed the accusations as unfounded and stressed Kenya's neutral stance.

He said despite the criticism, Kenya remains resolute in its role as an IGAD agent, dedicated to mediating peace in Khartoum while maintaining its position of neutrality in the ongoing conflict.