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IGAD returns to Sudan negotiations with a peace envoy

The authority said Korbandy would provide 'pivotal good offices' in seeking to get Burhan and Hemeti to the negotiating table

The Horn of Africa's Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) named South Sudanese lawyer Lawrence Korbandy as Special Envoy for Sudan on Tuesday.

Korbandy will provide 'pivotal good offices' in seeking to get the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to the negotiating table, said IGAD.

Korbandy was supposed to have been appointed last year and to report to the IGAD Quartet (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan) on Sudan. But the process was derailed after Sudan Armed Forces leader, General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, accused IGAD and Kenyan President William Ruto, who had been lined up to lead the Quartet, of bias.

Last month, United States President Joe Biden appointed Tom Perriello as the new US Special Envoy to Sudan, who promptly made a two-week tour of every major capital in East Africa, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in an attempt to coordinate a ceasefire.

But international organisations and regional states have struggled to find interlocutors that both sides in the conflict will listen to. Attempts at mediating a ceasefire have been repeatedly obstructed by regional players taking sides in the civil war. Former Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, the United Nations' Envoy for Sudan, has also made little headway. 

On 8 March, Burhan rejected a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Sudan during the holy month of Ramadan urging 'all parties to the conflict to seek a sustainable solution to the conflict through dialogue'.

Korbandy may stand more chance of getting a hearing. Burhan had demanded that IGAD's mediation be led by South Sudan, and Korbandy's experience as an official tasked with drumming up international support for the Sudan People's Liberation Movement which obtained independence from Sudan in 2011, could reassure both Burhan and RSF leader General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo aka 'Hemeti'.

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