President El-Sisi participates in Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit
Thursday، 13 July 2023 - 08:57 PM
The Sudan's Neighbouring Countries Summit kicked off in Cairo on Thursday July 13, 2023 to discuss a solution to the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The meeting, hosted by H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, was attended by the heads of state and governments of the Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan, with the presence of the Chairman of the African Union Commission and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States.
The eight-party summit seeks to find peaceful solutions to the Sudanese crisis that has broken out on April 15, 2023, between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Sudanese Rapid Forces (SRF).
The one-day summit in Cairo aims to discuss ways to end the negative repercussions of the Sudanese crisis on neighbouring countries, with the participation of the leaders of Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central Africa, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.
The summit also aims to establish effective mechanisms to settle the crisis in Sudan in a peaceful manner and in coordination with other regional and international tracks, the Egyptian Presidency earlier announced.
The preparatory session
Cairo hosted on Sunday July 9, 2023 the preparatory session for Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit at the level of Senior Officials.
Egypt has repeatedly called for a permanent ceasefire in Sudan, which would pave the way for resolving the ongoing conflict peacefully and stopping the bloodshed.
For his part, UN Secretary-General António Guterres voiced, on July 9, his concerns over the ongoing military clashes in Sudan, which could push the country to “the brink of a full-scale civil war” that could lead to the destabilization of the entire region.
The opening session
President El-Sisi chaired on Thursday, 13 July, 2023 the opening session of Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit
The participating leaders gave a speech at the opening session of the summit, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Sudan and urged conflicting parties to return to the negotiation table.
President El-Sisi’s Speech at Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit
The Heads of State and Government of Sudan’s Neighbouring counties
Your Excellency, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,
Your Excellency, Secretary General of the League of Arab States,
Ladies and gentlemen, honourable guests,
Allow me at the outset to welcome you all in Egypt and to thank you for accepting the invitation to attend this important summit. This summit is held at a defining historic moment in the history of Sudan, during which this neighbouring country, which is dear to our hearts, is passing through a profound crisis that has its negative repercussions on the security and stability of the region, the world and, in particular, Sudan’s neighbouring countries, which are the ones most affected by the crisis and most understanding and familiar with its complexities. This makes it necessary for our countries to unify our vision and positions with regard to the crisis and take consistent and unified decisions to contribute to resolving it, in consultation with the proposals of effective regional institutions, primarily the African Union and the League of Arab States, so as to preserve the interests and resources of the peoples of neighbouring countries and the security and stability of the entire region.
Ladies and gentlemen,
You are obviously aware of the gravity of the current crisis facing Sudan, and the repercussions of the fighting that has been ongoing for over three months, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and the displacement of millions of its people to safer areas inside the country or crossing into neighbouring countries. This is, in addition to the formidable material damage to public and private properties and the destruction of numerous vital facilities in the country.
Adding to this are the impediments facing the agricultural season, which caused acute food shortages. The conflict and its negative repercussions also led to the deterioration of health institutions and shortages in medicines and healthcare supplies, which resulted in catastrophic repercussions on the humanitarian situation as a whole.
This sharp deterioration in the humanitarian situation and the catastrophic repercussions of the crisis necessitate immediate and sustainable cessation of the military operations, in order to preserve the resources of the Sudanese people and the state’s institutions, to enable them to assume their responsibilities toward the citizens. This shall pave the way for a prompt, coordinated and serious response by all parties in the international community, in a manner consistent with the severity of this perilous crisis, whose root-causes must be addressed by reaching a comprehensive political solution responsive to the hopes and aspirations of the Sudanese people.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would not miss the opportunity to laud the tremendous efforts exerted by and noble stance of Sudan’s neighbouring countries, which received hundreds of thousands of displaced people, and shared their limited resources with them, despite the severe global economic situation.
In this regard, I call on all parties in the international community to keep the pledges they declared at the Sudan Pledging Conference, which was held in support of Sudan in June 2023, by supporting Sudan’s neighbouring countries that were hardest hit by the negative repercussions of the crisis, in order to strengthen their resilience and alleviate the suffering from those fleeing the conflict to neighbouring countries.
Immediately after the outbreak of the crisis in Sudan, Egypt took the initiative to receive hundreds of thousands of our Sudanese brothers, who joined around 5 million Sudanese people already living on Egyptian soil for several years.
The Government of Egypt also provided emergency relief that included food, sustenance, and medical supplies to the Sudanese brothers, who were affected by the conflict inside Sudanese territories.
I would like to reiterate here that Egypt will exert its utmost efforts, in collaboration with all parties, to stop the spilling of the precious Sudanese blood, preserve the gains of the great people of Sudan, and help realize its people’s aspirations, which were voiced by millions of its sons during their glorious revolution, to live in security, freedom, peace and justice in their homeland.
Egypt will also seek to facilitate the access of humanitarian assistance provided by donors to Sudan through Egyptian land, in coordination with the relevant international agencies and organizations.
Allow me to seize this opportunity to outline to you Egypt’s vision on how Sudan can emerge from the current crisis.
This vision is based on the following elements:
Calling on the warring parties to stop the escalation and start, without delay, serious negotiations, aimed at reaching an immediate and lasting ceasefire.
Calling on all Sudanese parties to facilitate the access of humanitarian assistance and establish safe passages to deliver this aid to the neediest areas inside Sudan and develop mechanisms to ensure providing the necessary protection to humanitarian aid convoys and international relief staff to enable them to do their job.
Launching an inclusive dialogue of the Sudanese parties, with the participation of political and civil forces and representatives of women and the youth, with the aim of starting a comprehensive political process, fulfilling the ambition and aspirations of the Sudanese people for security, prosperity, stability and democracy.
Developing a communication mechanism, emanating from this conference, to create an executive action plan to reach a comprehensive solution to the Sudanese crisis. This mechanism shall be tasked with engaging directly with the parties to the conflict and coordinating with existing mechanisms and frameworks.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me, before concluding my speech, to address the brotherly and dear people of Sudan:” The scenes of devastation, destruction and killing we are seeing are bleeding the hearts of all Egyptians, we feel the suffering and pain of our brothers in Sudan. We pray Allah Almighty to lift this ordeal as soon as possible.”
Based on that, we underscore the need for all brothers in Sudan to uphold the supreme interest and work toward maintaining the sovereignty and unity of Sudan, away from foreign interference that seek to achieve narrow interests which do not serve Sudan’s stability or peace, nor the region. I reaffirm that Egypt will spare no effort to help restore security, stability and peace across this brotherly country, in collaboration with all neighbouring and friendly parties.
Once again, I would like to extend gratitude to the participating leaders for accepting the invitation to attend this summit, which we hope will succeed in its noble mission to help its dear neighbour and support the brotherly people overcome the current ordeal as soon as possible.
The closing session
President El-Sisi chaired on Thursday 13 July, 2023 the closing session of Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit
Communique of Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit
During the session, the Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit put forward eight demands for the conflicting parties in Sudan to avoid risks of destabilization in the region.
According to the communique that was stated by President El-Sisi, the participating countries, namely: Egypt, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan], and chairman of the African Union Commission and the secretary general of the League of Arab States agreed on the following:
1-Expressing their deep concern regarding the ongoing military confrontations and the continuous deterioration of the security and humanitarian situations in Sudan. The leaders called on the parties to the conflict to de-escalate the situation and commit to an immediate and sustainable cease-fire to end the war and avoiding further loss of innocent civilian Sudanese lives and destruction of property.
2- Affirming their full respect for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Sudan. The leaders agreed that the current conflict is an internal Sudanese affair and stressed the need for ending any external interferences in the crisis. Such interferences protract the conflict and obstruct efforts to contain its escalation and reach an agreed settlement that will restore stability and security in Sudan.
3- Reiterating the importance of preserving the Sudanese State and its institutions, and preventing the fragmentation of the country, or descent into chaos that could lead to the spread of terrorism and organized crime, and other serious impacts on the national security of neighbouring states and overall regional stability.
4- Stressing the utmost priority of formulating a comprehensive approach to addressing the current crisis and its humanitarian ramifications, including pertaining to those internally displaced and the growing influx of refugees fleeing the conflict to neighbouring states, a challenging situation that creates growing pressure on the resources of neighbouring states. The leaders called on the international community and donor countries to shoulder their responsibility through upholding pledges made at the “Ministerial-level Pledging Event to Support the Humanitarian Response in Sudan and the Region”, attended by Sudan’s neighbouring states on June 19, 2023.
5- Expressing grave concern regarding the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Sudan, and condemning the repeated attacks on civilians, healthcare facilities and public services outlets. The leaders also called on the international community to step up efforts to provide crucial humanitarian aid, and to address urgent shortages in food and medical supplies in Sudan, as a measure towards alleviating the serious hardships caused by the crisis on innocent civilians.
6- Agreeing to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid provided to Sudan through the territories of neighbouring states, in coordination with relevant international agencies and organizations, and to strongly promote the establishment of safe passage for aid deliveries to the most affected and vulnerable areas. In this context, the leaders urged various Sudanese parties to provide the necessary protection for humanitarian assistance and personnel and to facilitate their mission in delivering assistance to those in need.
7- Emphasizing the pressing need for a political solution to stop the ongoing conflict. To this end, the leaders called for an inclusive and comprehensive national dialogue between Sudanese parties, prioritizing the aspirations and prosperity of the Sudanese people through the restoration of stability and security to the country.
8- Agreeing to form a Ministerial Mechanism comprised of foreign ministers of Sudan’s neighbouring states to coordinate common efforts to resolve the current conflict. The Ministerial Mechanism shall hold its first meeting in N’Djamena and will be mandated to take the following measures:
A- Develop an action-plan that includes practical steps towards stopping the fighting and reaching a comprehensive solution to the crisis through direct communication with various Sudanese parties, in complementarity with the existing mechanisms, including the IGAD and AU.
B- Discuss measures required to address the impact of the crisis on the future of Sudan’s stability, unity and territorial integrity, as well as to protect and preserve Sudan’s national institutions. The Ministerial Mechanism shall also discuss steps to contain the negative effects of the crisis on neighbouring states and agree on a delivery mechanism to provide humanitarian aid and relief to the Sudanese people.
C- The Ministerial Mechanism shall present its recommendations to the next Sudan’s Neighbouring Countries Summit.