May 22, 2023 (JUBA) – South Sudan is actively working to restore peace and stability in Sudan, as stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deng Dau Malek, on Monday.
Despite the ongoing battle between Sudan’s army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), President Salva Kiir remains committed to implementing a ceasefire and ensuring that essential services are accessible to civilians.
South Sudan has been at the forefront of addressing the conflict, receiving returnees who fled violence and providing refuge for Sudanese refugees.
By May 14, 2023, over 57,000 individuals had been forced to leave Sudan and seek refuge in South Sudan due to the conflict that commenced on April 15. According to the UNHCR report on May 16, 2023, approximately 90% of these displaced individuals were South Sudanese returnees affected by the conflict.
Intensive negotiations have been conducted to de-escalate the violence. Although the IGAD nominated President Salva Kiir to travel to Sudan alongside leaders from Kenya and Djibouti, the ongoing hostilities have hindered their efforts. Nevertheless, President Kiir has offered to mediate the cessation of hostilities.
The South Sudanese Foreign Minister emphasized that President Kiir and regional leaders closely monitor the situation in Sudan and engage in diplomatic efforts to persuade all parties to end the military conflict.
Their objective is to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access and provide information on exit options for civilians trapped in Khartoum since the conflict erupted in mid-April, added Malek,
As a former part of Sudan before seceding in 2011, South Sudan has been responsive to the evolving situation in Sudan. Civilians from South Darfur, caught in the fight between the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army, have sought refuge in northern Bahr El Ghazal state and parts of Raja County in western Bahr El Ghazal in South Sudan.
Kiir instructed state governors and county commissioners to establish settlements and grant access to local resources, including water points, for Sudanese refugees.
The minister further described the situation in Sudan as an “unfortunate and unforeseen tragedy”.
“There were no preparations because the current situation in Sudan is unfortunate—a tragedy that nobody anticipated. However, we believe it will eventually come to an end. We are collaborating with regional partners and global leaders to support and lead initiatives that promote peace and stability in Sudan,” he said.
He reaffirmed President Kiir’s willingness to play a positive role in mediating a peaceful resolution and stressed that war is not the solution to political issues.
“The President, his administration, the people of South Sudan, and the region, through the IGAD initiatives, continue to advocate for a peaceful settlement rather than pursuing a destructive, divisive, and fragmenting path”.