To address the escalating crisis in Sudan, world leaders convened on Friday, September 22nd, in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. The primary objective of this gathering was to foster improved coordination among the nations directly involved in the Sudanese civil war. With a multitude of peace initiatives emerging, competing, and often canceling each other out, the need for cohesive action has become ever more apparent.
The assembly in New York saw a notable turnout, featuring the nations neighboring the strife-ridden Sudan, including Egypt, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Chad. Additionally, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), comprising seven East African nations (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda), were present. The only absentee was the Central African Republic.
Furthermore, the meeting drew participation from countries actively engaged in mediation efforts, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Notably, France and Germany, as the architects of this meeting, played a pivotal role.
Addressing Mediation Fatigue
Why, one might wonder, did Catherine Colonna, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and her German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, feel compelled to initiate this gathering? The answer lies in the emerging concern of “mediation fatigue.” As the number of mediation endeavors proliferates, belligerents, notably General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and General Hemetti in this instance, tend to exploit these initiatives. They use them as a facade of peace while perpetuating the conflict.
On Friday, participants at the meeting made a collective commitment to enhance the coordination of their respective peace initiatives. It is expected that they will reconvene in the near future using a similar format, one that promises to endure.