Gatluak tosses idea of deploying regional troops in Sudan

The Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak, suggested the deployment of the regional forces in Sudan to protect civilians and ultimately stop the armed combat in the country.

Addressing the media during the consultative meeting between Juba Peace Agreement signatory parties for peace in Sudan at the Radisson Blu in Juba on Tuesday, Gatluak said they are hoping that the coming peace talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, will end amicably.

“We call for the presence of forces on the ground to separate the forces, and we are looking forward to the coming peace talks with a vision that it will be successful because it is the issue of the war in Sudan,” Gatluak said.

According to Gatluak, President Kiir’s efforts to bring an end to the conflict in Sudan are undeniable.

“The path that South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit is adopting is to negotiate with all the political parties in Sudan to bring peace to the country,” he said.

He urged the two conflicting parties to agree, as they will go to participate in the Jeddah peace talks in Saudi Arabia.

“I call on the warring parties, the armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces as they go to the Jeddah platform and agree on a ceasefire,” Gatluak stated.

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He further appealed to all the parties to embrace peace despite the differences they have, noting they have a crucial role in restoring peace.

“We call on all parties to support peace with all their different orientations. They need to sit and think about rebuilding Sudan. The parties that signed the Juba Sudan Peace Agreement have a greater role in achieving peace because they are now in government,” Gatluak stressed.

On July 10, 2023, the IGAD Quartet initiative called for a regional summit to consider deploying troops in Sudan to protect civilians, after nearly three months of violence between the army and a paramilitary faction (RSF).

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), made up of eight states in and around the Horn of Africa, met in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to kick-start a peace process for the conflict in Sudan.

But the initiative faced a setback as a delegation from Sudan’s army failed to attend the first day of meetings, having rejected Kenya’s president, William Ruto, as head of the committee facilitating the talks.

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Six months after fighting erupted on April 15, 2023, in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, quickly spread to other parts of the country. Currently, Sudan is facing one of the fastest unfolding crises globally, with unprecedented needs in such a short period.

Close to 5.7 million people about one in every nine people in the country have fled their homes since the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) started in mid-April. They have sought refuge within Sudan or in neighbouring countries.

According to the International Organization for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM), about 4.57 million people have been displaced by fighting within Sudan and have sought refuge in 4,658 locations across all 18 states.

The displaced people are from eight states, with the majority about 3.1 million people (69 percent of all internally displaced), originally from Khartoum. Most have sought refuge in the Nile, followed by South Darfur, East Darfur, Aj Jazirah, and Northern and North Darfur states. About 1.1 million people have crossed into the neighbouring Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan as of October 8, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

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This devastating conflict, coupled with acute food insecurity, disease outbreaks, civilian displacement, and destruction of livelihoods, threatens to consume the entire country. About 15 million people, or 31 per cent of the population, will be acutely food insecure between October 2023 and February 2024.

This is almost double the 7.7 million people who were acutely food insecure between October 2022 and February 2023. This implies that the conflict and other aggravating factors have made an additional 7.3 million people acutely food insecure.

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