Sudan’s neighbouring countries meeting in Cairo have agreed to form a ministerial mechanism comprising the foreign ministers of Sudan’s neighbours to address the conflict which has had severe implications on the participating nations.
The first meeting of the mechanism will be held in Chad, where an executive action plan will be developed to find a comprehensive solution to the crisis, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced during the closing session.
The Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit brought together Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central Africa, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, along with the secretary-general of the Arab League and the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson.
Reading the final statement of eight points, El-Sisi stated that all participants expressed deep concern about the continued military operations and the severe deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Sudan.
The participants agreed on the urgent need to address the humanitarian crisis and recognized that prolonging the crisis will result in an increasing number of refugees, overwhelming the capabilities of neighbouring countries.
Emphasizing the importance of inclusive dialogue, the participants called for engaging all Sudanese parties to initiate a comprehensive political process. They also stressed the importance of preserving the Sudanese state and its institutions, as well as preventing organized crime and terrorism.
The summit further emphasized the full respect for Sudan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, rejecting any external intervention as the conflict is considered an internal matter.
Additionally, the countries agreed to facilitate the delivery of aid to the most vulnerable areas in Sudan through the neighbouring nations.
The summit aimed to discuss means of ending the ongoing conflict and its repercussions on these countries as well as setting effective frameworks to settle the crisis peacefully in coordination with other regional and international tracks.
Verbatim of the final Communique of Sudan’s Neighbouring States Summit
The leaders agreed on the following:
1-Expressing their deep concern regarding the ongoing military confrontations and the continuous deterioration of the security and humanitarian situations in Sudan. The leaders called on the parties to the conflict to de-escalate the situation and commit to an immediate and sustainable cease-fire to end the war, and avoiding further loss of innocent civilian Sudanese lives and destruction of property.
2- Affirming their full respect for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Sudan. The leaders agreed that the current conflict is an internal Sudanese affair, and stressed the need for ending any external interferences in the crisis. Such interferences protract the conflict and obstruct efforts to contain its escalation and reach an agreed settlement that will restore stability and security in Sudan.
3- Reiterating the importance of preserving the Sudanese State and its institutions, and preventing the fragmentation of the country, or descent into chaos that could lead to the spread of terrorism and organized crime, and other serious impacts on the national security of neighboring states and overall regional stability.
4- Stressing the utmost priority of formulating a comprehensive approach to addressing the current crisis and its humanitarian ramifications, including pertaining to those internally displaced and the growing influx of refugees fleeing the conflict to neighboring states, a challenging situation that creates growing pressure on the resources of neighboring states. The leaders called on the international community and donor countries to shoulder their responsibility through upholding pledges made at the “Ministerial-level Pledging Event to Support the Humanitarian Response in Sudan and the Region”, attended by Sudan’s neighboring states on June 19, 2023.
5- Expressing grave concern regarding the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Sudan, and condemning the repeated attacks on civilians, healthcare facilities and public services outlets. The leaders also called on the international community to step up efforts to provide crucial humanitarian aid, and to address urgent shortages in food and medical supplies in Sudan, as a measure towards alleviating the serious hardships caused by the crisis on innocent civilians.
6- Agreeing to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid provided to Sudan through the territories of neighboring states, in coordination with relevant international agencies and organizations, and to strongly promote the establishment of safe passage for aid deliveries to the most affected and vulnerable areas. In this context, the leaders urged various Sudanese parties to provide the necessary protection for humanitarian assistance and personnel and to facilitate their mission in delivering assistance to those in need.
7- Emphasizing the pressing need for a political solution to stop the ongoing conflict. To this end, the leaders called for an inclusive and comprehensive national dialogue between Sudanese parties, prioritizing the aspirations and prosperity of the Sudanese people through the restoration of stability and security to the country.
8- Agreeing to form a Ministerial Mechanism comprised of foreign ministers of Sudan’s neighboring states to coordinate common efforts to resolve the current conflict. The Ministerial Mechanism shall hold its first meeting in N’Djamena and will be mandated to take the following measures:
A- Develop an action-plan that includes practical steps towards stopping the fighting and reaching a comprehensive solution to the crisis through direct communication with various Sudanese parties, in complementarily with the existing mechanisms, including the IGAD and AU.
B- Discuss measures required to address the impact of the crisis on the future of Sudan’s stability, unity and territorial integrity, as well as to protect and preserve Sudan’s national institutions. The Ministerial Mechanism shall also discuss steps to contain the negative effects of the crisis on neighboring states, and agree on a delivery mechanism to provide humanitarian aid and relief to the Sudanese people.
C- The Ministerial Mechanism shall present its recommendations to the next Sudan’s Neighboring States Summit.