Sudan says suspending membership in IGAD east Africa bloc

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The government of war-torn Sudan has informed IGAD it is suspending its membership in the east Africa bloc, the foreign ministry loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said Saturday.

Khartoum had already announced on Tuesday that it was freezing relations with IGAD for inviting paramilitary chief Mohamed Hamdan Daglo - at war with al-Burhan for nine months - to a summit in Uganda that discussed the Sudan conflict.

Sudan “is facing one of the fastest unfolding crises globally,” the United Nations humanitarian agency, OCHA, says, with more than 7.4 million people displaced and more than half the population needing humanitarian assistance.

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The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, an analyst group, puts the death toll at more than 13,000.

In a statement, Sudan's foreign ministry said Burhan sent a letter on Saturday to President Ismail Omar Guelleho of Djibouti, current chair of the bloc, “to inform him of the Sudanese government decision suspending its membership in this organization.”

At its summit on Thursday, IGAD reiterated its call for “an immediate and unconditional ceasefire” in the “unjust war affecting the people” of Sudan.

The bloc also expressed “continued readiness to offer its good offices to facilitate an all-inclusive peace process,” and again called for a face-to-face meeting between the two sides.

A final communique from the extraordinary assembly gave the generals two weeks to meet.

Sudan's foreign ministry said it was this item, placed on the agenda without Sudan's approval, which led it to the further step of suspending its membership.

The ministry also accused the summit communique of violating Sudan'’ sovereignty and “wounding the sentiments of victims of rebel militia atrocities,” a reference to Dagalo’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Both sides have been accused of war crimes, including the indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, torture and arbitrary detention of civilians.

The RSF has also been accused of ethnically motivated mass killings, rampant looting and rapes.

Read more:

Ethnic killings in one Sudan city left up to 15,000 dead: UN report

Sudan’s Burhan says ‘no reconciliation’ with paramilitary RSF

Shelling in Khartoum kills 10 civilians

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