Sudan’s Foreign Ministry made an official announcement on Saturday, disclosing that the country has decided to freeze its membership in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc.The Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, conveyed Sudan’s decision to freeze its participation in the IGAD during a meeting with the president of the current session of the bloc, as stated in the ministry’s release.The statement clarified that Sudan’s move was prompted by the IGAD’s apparent disregard for Sudan’s official decision to suspend all dealings with the bloc on matters about Sudan. This decision had not been acknowledged during the IGAD’s extraordinary summit held in Uganda on Thursday.During the summit in Kampala on January 18, which Sudan boycotted, the IGAD addressed the ongoing crisis in Sudan. The Sudanese Foreign Ministry criticized the final communique of the IGAD summit, claiming it contained statements that infringed upon Sudan’s sovereignty. The ministry emphasized that the Sudanese government does not adhere to nor consider anything issued by the IGAD regarding Sudanese affairs.This development follows the IGAD’s approval on December 9, 2023, during an emergency summit in Djibouti, for a meeting between the leaders of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) within two weeks. However, the meeting was later postponed for “technical reasons.”Sudan has been grappling with deadly clashes between the SAF and RSF since April 15, 2023, resulting in over 12,000 casualties and the displacement of more than 7.4 million people within and outside Sudan, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The IGAD has been increasing pressure on the warring parties in Sudan to sign a truce agreement, aiming to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the population affected by the conflict.