IGAD asks al-Bashir to help find an end to violence in S. Sudan

Omar Bashir Sudan's President
Omar Bashir Sudan’s President

Sudan government on Sunday said the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) asked Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to mediate between South Sudan’s rivals to end the escalating violence in the country.

“The IGAD asked for mediation of the President. Al-Bashir will move in this respect after taking the oath on June 2,” Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti told reporters Sunday.

South Sudan has recently been witnessing escalating confrontations between the government forces and the rebels, led by former vice-president Riek Machar, particularly at the oil-rich Unity and Upper Nile States.

Consequently, the African Union had earlier demanded imposition of sanctions on the leaders of South Sudan’s rivals together with arms embargo, while the United Nations Security Council last week condemned the escalating violence in the South and expressed willingness to impose sanctions against those who threaten peace and stability in the newly-born state.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir
South Sudan President Salva Kiir

However, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Saturday warned against imposition of new sanctions on his country, saying that any sanctions would only further escalate the current tension.

South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to Salva Kiir and defectors headed by his former deputy Riek Machar.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee their homes.


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