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UN warns of further displacement without peace efforts

Addis Ababa will play host to an all-inclusive political dialogue centered around war-torn Sudan for five days beginning July 10, 2024, according to an AU statement released on Friday.

The AUC Chairperson, through the AU High-Level Panel on Sudan and in collaboration with IGAD, is working to realize the dialogue in hopes of securing a people-driven solution to the brutal conflict and restoration of constitutional democratic order in Sudan, according to the statement.

It came following a meeting between heads of state and government on the situation in Sudan on Friday.

The communiqué disclosed that another dialogue effort is scheduled to take place in Egypt in early July prior to the talks in Addis Ababa..

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“[The AU] expresses appreciation to the efforts undertaken by neighboring countries, in coordination with the AU and IGAD, to facilitate the promotion of peace in Sudan, including the ongoing efforts by the Arab Republic of Egypt to facilitate the dialogue among Sudanese actors, scheduled to be held early July 2024 in Cairo, Egypt, to complement the ongoing efforts to convene the AU/IGAD-led Inclusive Dialogue,” reads the communiqué.

The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) has called for direct negotiations between the warring generals of Sudan in order to secure a ceasefire agreement.

“An acceptable ceasefire can only be reached through direct negotiations between the key actors in the war,” reads an AUPSC statement released on Friday.

It details that the AU chairperson is tasked with setting up a committee led by Ugandan President Kaguta Museveni to facilitate the talks between the heads of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces in “the shortest possible time.”

The Council has also called on all external actors to “stop any military and financial support to the belligerents that is further worsening the conflict.”

The statement t says the committee led by Museveni is tasked with liaising with the AU Commission and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) to “identify all external actors supporting the warring factions militarily, financially, and politically, as well as make proposals on how to contain each of them.”

The Council has called for all stakeholders to work in an inclusive, coordinated, and synchronized manner through the existing AU-established coordinating mechanisms for the resolution of the crisis in Sudan.

The statement acknowledges reports of violence in parts of Sudan, including Khartoum, Darfur, Al Gezira, and Kordofan, and warns against the potential dangerous ethnic and communal repercussions of the conflict.

More than 14,000 people are thought to have been killed in Sudan since the brutal civil war broke out last April, with thousands more injured, and more than 10 million people displaced, making it the worst internal displacement crisis in the world, according to the UN.

Earlier this week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees warned that many more people will flee the war in Sudan for shelter in neighboring countries without concerted peace efforts.

“The level of suffering is truly unconscionable,’’ said UNHCR head Filippo Grandi. “Sudan is the definition of a perfect storm: shocking human rights atrocities, with millions uprooted by this insane war and other wars that came before it. A terrible famine is looming, and severe floods will soon hamper aid deliveries even more. We are losing a generation to this war, yet peace efforts are not working.”

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