Khartoum – January 21, 2024
In a significant diplomatic move, Sudan has officially suspended its membership in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an influential East African bloc. The announcement was made by Sudan’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday, revealing that the decision to freeze participation in IGAD was communicated to the current session’s president by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement highlighted the rationale behind Sudan’s unprecedented step, citing the IGAD’s alleged neglect of Sudan’s official communication regarding the suspension of engagement on matters related to Sudan. This decision, as outlined in the statement, was not acknowledged during the IGAD’s recent extraordinary summit convened in Uganda on Thursday.
Last week’s scheduled IGAD summit, slated for January 18 in Kampala, Uganda, triggered Sudan’s objection, emphasizing that the unfolding events within the country constitute an internal matter. The statement released by Sudan underscores its discontent with the IGAD’s failure to address its concerns during the summit, leading to the decisive move to freeze membership.
The IGAD, established in 1996, plays a crucial role in fostering cooperation and regional integration among its member states. Sudan’s suspension raises questions about the dynamics within the bloc and the specific issues that prompted such a bold diplomatic gesture.
This development comes amid ongoing internal challenges in Sudan, with the country navigating complex political and socio-economic landscapes. The decision to temporarily withdraw from IGAD reflects Sudan’s determination to assert its autonomy and address its internal affairs without external interference.
As the international community observes this diplomatic development, the implications for Sudan-IGAD relations and the broader regional dynamics will undoubtedly draw attention. The situation prompts speculation about the potential repercussions and the diplomatic efforts that may follow as Sudan takes this momentous step in its foreign policy.