South Sudan`s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Monday said that the country is ready to spearhead the mediation of talks between Sudan’s warring parties once given a green light by the regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Addressing a news conference at his office, Foreign Minister James Pitia Morgan said President Salva Kiir is capable of mediating the talks as he has been a member of the Sudanese Armed Forces, as well as the First Vice President of Sudan and that the Sudanese people know him as one of their leaders before the secession of South Sudan.
“It was South Sudan that was able to solve the issue of Darfur through the Juba Peace Agreement which was mediated by President Kiir himself. So, what is the difference between the ongoing crisis in Sudan and the one in Darfur?” he asked. “If President Kiir was able to solve that issue of Darfur, he still stands as the right person to solve the ongoing crisis in Sudan.”
According to Minister Pitia, South Sudan can mediate the Sudan talks on a bilateral basis but not as a lead member of IGAD as the country has not been given the green light by IGAD.
“President Kiir, being a member of IGAD states, cannot come and solve the problem when he is not mandated,” Pitia stressed. “He can talk bilaterally with the fighting factions in Sudan but he cannot come and solve the problem in the name of the region unless mandated by the region.”
The conflict in Sudan began on 15 April when the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) clashed in Sudan’s capital Khartoum and other regions. The violence has killed thousands of civilians, displaced millions more, and destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, especially in Khartoum.