Presidents al-Sisi and Kiir speak to the press in Cairo on Monday November 6, 2023 (Photo Egyptian presidency)
Egypt and South Sudan voiced their request to involve them in talks aimed at resolving the Sudanese crisis, asserting their unique understanding of the conflict and its tribal dynamics.
President Salva Kiir ended a two-day visit to Cairo on Monday, where he held a joint press conference with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Al-Sisi told reporters they discussed the Sudanese crisis and its impact on the region and neighbouring countries, particularly Egypt and South Sudan.
“We underscored the centrality of Egypt and South Sudan’s roles in the Sudanese crisis, affirming the importance of not neglecting this in any initiatives or efforts proposed to settle the crisis, particularly since the two countries are the most understanding of the nature of the crisis and its tribal complexities,” he stressed.
The Egyptian president added that they agreed to advise the conflicting parties in Sudan to prioritize national interests “over any individual interests or foreign interventions, that would only deepen the problem.”
The reference to foreign intervention in the Sudanese conflict is a growing concern, amid reports of a Chad-UAE alliance to support the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in its war against the Sudanese army.
The alleged involvement of N’djamena alongside the paramilitary forces in Sudan undermines the initiative of the neighbouring countries launched by Egypt last July. Observers noted that al-Burhan, who visited several neighbouring countries since last August, carefully avoid Chad.
Nonetheless, al-Sisi added they emphasized the importance of the neighbouring countries’ track and the results emanating from their meetings to settle the crisis.
At the beginning of his speech, Kiir echoed al-Sisi’s remarks, adding that they had effectively discussed bilateral and regional issues.
“On the regional level, we exchanged views about the ongoing conflict in Sudan especially the worsening humanitarian crisis. President Sisi and I see dialogue as the only path to bring this conflict to an end,” further said the South Sudanese president.
He expressed hope that they could make progress on the issues discussed in their meeting but did not provide further details.
Al-Sisi said they agreed to make direct contact with the warring parties.
“We agreed to step up efforts and contacts between us and the relevant parties inside Sudan, in order to find urgent solutions to the crisis and spare the Sudanese people further destruction and displacement.”
The meeting between the two neighbours of Sudan took place as US-Saudi brokered ceasefire talks are continuing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Recently, an Ethiopian diplomat joined the talks as a representative for the IGAD and the African Union alike.
It is the second time the leaders with direct border and historical relations with Sudan have come out to voice unified support to end the conflict through peaceful dialogue.
It remains unclear whether the mediation will consider the demand of the two countries to join the Jeddah process, which is perceived as the only valid option even for a future political process, as the military-led government in Sudan contests any leadership role to the AU and the IGAD.
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