The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) has dissolved a President William Ruto-led team tasked with seeking solutions to end the ongoing conflict in Sudan.
In a communique shared on Sunday after a meeting the Head of State attended in Djibouti, the assembly welcomed a comprehensive report tabled by Ruto in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Quartet Group of Countries.
Ruto had been appointed to the role in mid-2023 to lead the quartet of countries including Kenya, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.
The lean team was tasked with engaging the warring parties, Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), in an effort to reach a ceasefire and promote peaceful negotiations.
President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi, on March 15, 2023
“The Assembly welcomed the comprehensive report tabled by the Chairperson of the Quartet Group of Countries, H.E. Dr. William Ruto, and expressed gratitude at the commitment with which he steered the efforts of the quartet; and appreciated the dedication and efforts of the members of the Quartet towards peacefully resolving the ongoing crisis in the Republic of Sudan and noting that the Quartet had ably discharged the task for which it was established,” read the communique in part.
“The IGAD Assembly adopted the report filed, and resolved, in the interest of shared and collective responsibility, to be fully seized of the search for peace in the Sudan.”
After the meeting, South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Dr. James Pitia Morgan told the press that Ruto had submitted the report.
As a result, the assembly dissolved the quartet and handed the peacekeeping efforts back to IGAD and the African Union.
“The report submitted by President Ruto of Kenya in his capacity as the chair of IGAD Quartet has outlined the role of the quartet from the time this docket was given to this day, and also that brings to an end the role of the quartet,” Morgan stated as per Eye Radio, a south Sudanese media outlet.
“The responsibility has now been handed over to IGAD and the African Union. Quartet has ended its role so there is no more quartet to this point. So, it is now the responsibility IGAD and AU to take this process forward.”
The quartet, which was formed in June, wanted to bring Sudanese General Ab-del Fattah Al-Burhan and his rival Mohamed Dagalo to the negotiation table within 10 days.
Al-Burhan, however, rejected Ruto’s appointment to the role and requested the process to be led by South Sudan President Salva Kiir, claiming that Kenya was supporting Mohammed Dagalo.
He argued that Kenya was taking sides with the RSF in the ongoing conflict in Sudan and that Ruto has a personal relationship with Dagalo.
Ruto, however, pushed on with the peace efforts.
President William Ruto speaking in Mombasa on July 29 (left) and General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan of the Sudanese Armed Forces attending an event on November 21, 2021 (right).
The New Arab