East African Countries Moot a ‘Standby Force’ for Sudan

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.

Complicated dialogue

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).