The east African regional bloc IGAD has mooted the creation of a regional peace force for Sudan at a summit on Sudan on Monday in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa .
The IGAD quartet includes Kenya, South Sudan, Djibouti and Ethiopia.The country leaders expressed “deep concern” about the impact of the ongoing war in the Republic of Sudan, which has resulted in the death of thousands of people, and displaced almost three million more so far.
This includes 2.2 million IDPs and nearly 615,000 refugees that have crossed the border into neighbouring countries.In a communique released after Monday’s meeting, the quartet said it would request the African Union look into possibly deploying the East Africa Standby Force in Sudan.
These types of forces are usually tasked with election observer missions, for the protection of civilians and to ensure humanitarian access.
The quartet requested an “East Africa Standby Force (EASF) summit,” the statement reads, in order to consider the “possible deployment of the EASF for the protection of civilians and guarantee humanitarian access in Sudan.”
Egypt also said on Sunday that it would host a summit of Sudan’s neighbours on 13 July to discuss ways to end the 12-week-long conflict.
The head of states invited the Sudanese rivals, army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
Both refuse to attend the talks in person. However, the RSF did send a representative. The “quartet” meeting was led by Kenya’s President, William Ruto.
Yet, Sudan’s foreign ministry said on Monday that its delegation would not participate until its request to remove Kenya as chair of the talks was met.
The ministry had asked for Kenyan President William Ruto be “replaced”, because of “his partiality”, a statement from Sudan reads.
Sudanese authorities had previously alleged that Nairobi has adopted the positions of the RSF militia, sheltered its people and offered them various forms of support.
According to experts on the region, foreign troops would have to face intense fighting and lawlessness, and a probable opposition by the two sides fighting the war.
Human rights violations and potential famine
Meanwhile, Tuesday, Human Rights Watch called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate possible war crimes committed in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, including the killings of dozens of civilians.
It said this happened during an ethnically motivated attack, in late May, when homes were looted and set ablaze.
The rights group says Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and allied Arab militias carried out the attack; which left 97 people dead, according to officials.
Lack of access to water and food, even risk of hunger, are also reported by many NGOs and new correspondents.