Sudan “freezes” relations with East African bloc IGAD

Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, loyal to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane’s army, announced on Tuesday January 16 that it was “freezing” relations with Igad, the East African regional bloc accused of “violating Sudan’s sovereignty.”
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed (…) Igad of Sudan’s decision to cease collaboration and freeze its relations” with the organization, said a statement from the ministry, which accused it of “violating Sudan’s sovereignty.”
Since April 15, the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of General Mohammed Hamdane Daglo have been at war for power in Sudan. According to an estimate by the NGO Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (Acled), more than 13,000 people have died in this conflict. In addition, more than seven million people have been displaced, according to the UN. The head of the RSF, a rival of General Burhane, has been making frequent trips to Africa in recent weeks and was invited by Igad to a meeting in Kampala, Uganda, on Thursday.
“Inviting the head of the militia, the FSR, constitutes “a dangerous precedent” and “violates the Igad Charter, the ministry added. For months, the Sudanese army and government have constantly denounced the “partiality” of the regional bloc and East African capitals.
Diplomatic efforts for peace negotiations, notably by the USA, Saudi Arabia, and, more recently, Igad, have so far failed. Generals Burhane and Daglo had previously teamed up to lead a putsch and oust civilians from power in October 2021, putting an end to two years of democratic transition.
Unable to gain the upper hand since the start of the war, both sides are stalling, but neither intends to make any concessions at the negotiating table. On the ground, however, the RSF seems to be gaining new territory in the face of weak resistance from the army. They now control the streets of Khartoum, almost all of the vast western region of Darfur, and have penetrated the state of al-Jazira, in the east-central part of the country.