The warring parties in Sudan are keen to settle their differences on the negotiating table after rebuffing several calls from the team of regional heads of states.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir leads the team of heads of states from the regional body Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which has been cajoling the parties to end fighting which erupted since April 15th.
Pauline Adhong Malok, Spokesperson of South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, told journalists on Tuesday that the change of heart from the belligerents came after Kiiir held talks on phone with Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the head of the Sudan Armed Forces and Mohamed Hamdan Hemedti, the leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
“The government of the Republic of South Sudan has obtained consent of the two parties to the current conflict in Sudan to name their representatives to the peace talks to be held at any venue of their choice,” Adhong said during press conference held in Juba.
She said Kiir talked to the two rival generals on May 2nd 2023, stressing the importance of the fragile ceasefire holding in order to facilitate the start of peace negotiations.
Kiir’s administration has since last week been parroting the idea of the two rivals holding direct talks to end the violence that has killed more than 500 people and wounded thousands.
The SAF and RSF were close allies in the shaky transitional government, which was charged with transitioning Sudan toward civilian rule.
The two after conspiring to overthrow the civilian prime minister in 2021, immediately turned on each other after disagreeing on the integration process of the RSF into the national army.
“The two principles; His Excellency general Abdel Fattah Al –Burhan, the Chairman the Sudan Sovereign Council and Commander –in- Chief of Sudan Armed Forces and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo leader of Rapid Support Force have agreed in principle to a seven-day truce from May 4th to 11th, they also agreed to name their representatives to the talks,” Adhong said.
Several ceasefire deals brokered by the U.S, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have recently collapsed before the start due to sporadic fighting around the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
The hopes of the latest ceasefire holding remain slim due to the precedent set by the two warring sides.