In its extraordinary meeting on Sudan held on Wednesday, the IGAD Council of Minister reaffirmed the leading role of the east African bloc and called to support its efforts to end the Sudanese crisis.
A recent row between African Union Commission adviser to Sudan and the IGAD mediator to Sudan over the way forwards brought the IGAD to use the first meeting on Sudan’s crisis to insist on the leadership of its envoy.
The IGAD “Decides to be seized of the matter and assume a leading role to coordinate all efforts to bring sustainable peace in the Sudan; and calls on the international community to support IGAD initiative,” said a communiqué released on Thursday.
The meeting further decided that the coordination of between the IGAD mediator and the Special Adviser to the AU Chairperson will be “based on the principle of subsidiarity”.
In other terms, the AUC Adviser has not to interfere in the direct mediation between the Sudanese parties but he can deal with the IGAD on issues related to Sudan when there is a need for a role or a decision at the African Union level.
The IGAD “Acknowledges the good efforts of Amb. Mohamoud Dirir, Special Envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister for the Sudan; and decides to support the Special Envoy’s continued engagement in the process,” reads the communiqué in its merits.
Dirir returned to Khartoum on Thursday as he has to resume his contacts with the Sudanese Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).
It was not clear why the Ethiopian Prime Minister didn’t come to Khartoum on Thursday. But, his entourage said he would return when the parties have made significant progress in the talks.
TMC officials said they want to renegotiate the initial agreement reached with the FFC and review the percentage of the FFC in the appointed parliament.
Nonetheless, the communiqué says that the meeting “takes note and appreciates the progress thus far made in the negotiations between the TMC and the FFC”.