IGAD recognizes that a peaceful and prosperous Sudan is in the interest of the region, which must be guided by a good example of unique, inclusive and visionary leadership. IGAD congratulates the President of the Sovereign Council of the Republic of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Prime Minister of Sudan and President of IGAD, H.E. Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, and all the leaders of the armed groups who signed the peace agreement, an impregnable security council for a mediator. Such an imprimature would reflect the common interests of Council members in a stable Afghanistan, which contributes to regional stability and does not provide a safe haven for transnational terrorists. It would also indicate the clear support of key countries to the peace process – countries whose support will be needed not only to keep the process on track, but also to create the conditions for effective implementation of all outcomes. The high-level meeting is in line with the Nairobi Declaration, a memorandum of understanding from IGAD countries on a comprehensive regional approach to providing sustainable solutions to refugees while maintaining protection and promoting autonomy in countries of asylum. In addition, the process will be an initiative of the IGAD Support Platform, launched at the Global Refugee Forum last December, made up of humanitarian and development organizations, donors, the private sector and other partners who are committed to showing solidarity by providing technical, financial and concrete development assistance to refugees in the IGAD region. The peace agreement reached in Juba is a historic milestone for the people of the Republic of Sudan in their quest for a peaceful and prosperous country. IGAD congratulates the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Revolutionary Front on securing a historic peace agreement for the good of the Sudanese people.

During the meeting, Malong agreed to negotiate an IGAD-backed peace agreement. The statement rejected statements that he had held discussions with Gen Paul Malong`s South Sudan-United Front/Army (SSUF/A) on their situation as soon as a peace agreement was signed in Rome. Finally, I will conclude with a practical proposal for the consideration of the members of the Security Council. One of the missing features in the peace process is a plenipotentiary and impartial mediator. It is difficult to imagine how the parties will be able to bridge the considerable gap between their starting positions without such assistance. So far, several governments have played an informal role as mediators in this process, but this ad hoc approach is less likely as discussions become more difficult. In response to a question from the Sudan Tribune, he added that, as soon as a peace agreement was reached, SSOMA would have two alternatives if it wished to participate in the three-year transition.