South Sudan urges AU action on Sudan crisis

South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador James Morgan Pitia, has expressed deep concern over the escalating crisis in Sudan.

South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador James Morgan Pitia, has expressed deep concern over the escalating crisis in Sudan.

Addressing the 44th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ambassador Pitia called for urgent AU intervention to restore peace and stability in Sudan.

Despite South Sudan’s mediation efforts, Ambassador Pitia highlighted that the situation in Sudan is deteriorating. Previous attempts at mediating peace between the warring parties, including South Sudan’s efforts, have failed. Sudan specifically requested President Salva Kiir of South Sudan to lead mediation talks between rival generals Abdel Fattah Al Burhan of the Sudanese Armed Forces and Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, leader of the Rapid Support Forces.

Ambassador Pitia admitted that South Sudan’s mediation efforts to reach a ceasefire between the conflicting sides have not been successful. As Sudan marks exactly 10 months since the outbreak of the war, the crisis has become the world’s largest displacement crisis, affecting over 10 million people both inside and outside Sudan, according to the UN.

Ambassador Pitia appealed to the AU, stating, “The situation in Sudan calls for all of us in this august house to unite our efforts to assist our brothers in Sudan.”

“Despite President Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit’s numerous efforts to assist our brothers, unfortunately, these endeavours have not yielded positive results. Therefore, it is our responsibility as the constitutive arm of this esteemed August House to protect the independence and territorial integrity of all its member states. Addressing the situation in Sudan is imperative,” emphasized Ambassador Pitia.

Additionally, Ambassador Pitia raised the issue of sanctions, saying, “We also want this August House to look at the issue of the sanctions imposed on African Union member states. It is the responsibility of the African Union to take the lead in removing these unwarranted sanctions imposed on its members.”

South Sudan currently faces UN Security Council sanctions, including asset freezes, travel bans, and an arms embargo.

The minister is representing South Sudan at the two-day meeting, which includes foreign ministers from AU member states. The meeting is being held under the AU’s theme for 2024, “Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa.”

This meeting precedes the 37th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of the Heads of State and Government scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.