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Deng Dau Deng, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs talking to journalists on Saturday in his ministry.

South Sudan, Egypt call for joint efforts to tackle humanitarian crisis

South Sudan and Egypt on Tuesday called for concerted efforts among Sudan’s neighbors and the international community to tackle the humanitarian crisis stemming from conflict in Khartoum.

Deng Dau Deng, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the unfolding humanitarian crisis is already straining the capacity of Sudan’s neighbors to respond to the huge refugee influx.

 “The assessment has shown that there is a need for the immediate neighbors to take a special concern on the situation in Sudan, and his Excellency President Kiir reaffirmed that he is very much concerned like Egypt, because we are not only immediate neighbors to Sudan, but we have pressure that we are receiving from the people that are leaving Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan,” Deng said during press conference held in Juba with his Egyptian counterpart.

He said that President Salva Kiir and Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during their recent conversation discussed the concerns of countries like Chad, Eritrea and Ethiopia over the conflict in Sudan.

Deng said that the multiple peace initiatives were sidelining the immediate neighbors of Sudan, who are bearing the direct consequences of the conflict that erupted since April 15th.

 “The assessment is that there are a lot of (peace) initiatives that are happening, there are tri-lateral initiatives; there are IGAD initiatives, there are also Saudi and U.S initiatives and they are also discussing within the Arab League but then South Sudan and Egypt and other neighbors they are also very concerned,” he said.

The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) led by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, on Saturday started talks on opening up humanitarian corridors in the coastal city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

The talks sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the U.S have not yielded positive breakthrough.

“Any continuation of disintegration, any continuation of war in Sudan will put pressure on our countries because we are very close neighbors to Sudan, and this is why all the efforts that are being done internationally they have to be coordinated so that the beneficiaries in the end are Sudanese people,” Deng said.

Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Egyptian Foreign Minister who arrived from N’Djamena, the Chadian capital, stressed the need for close coordination between Egypt and South Sudan on resolving the situation in Sudan.

Shoukry said the two countries will push the Sudanese parties to consider agreement on sustainable ceasefire and a return to political dialogue.

“We will continue to coordinate and cooperate and to contribute to relieving this very critical situation, and to deal with the humanitarian consequences that both Egypt and South Sudan have had to bear related to the influx of a large number of Sudanese fleeing the conflict areas,” he said.

Shoukry said Egypt has so far received more than 70,000 Sudanese since outbreak of fighting in Khartoum and other places in Sudan.

He added that they will continue dialogue with the warring Sudanese parties including the civil political forces that have been left of the talks in Saudi Arabia.

 South Sudan has let in more than 50,000 people with most of these being South Sudanese returnees who fled conflicts in 2013 and 2016. In addition, Chad has received more than 20,000 refugees.

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