Nairobi, April 16 : Kenya and South Sudan have called for an immediate ceasefire in Sudan where the military and a paramilitary group are engaged in fierce fighting.
Kenyan President William Ruto and his South Sudan counterpart, Salva Kiir, in separate statements, urged the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, to embrace dialogue to resolve their issues, Xinhua News Agency reported.
“Kenya is concerned about the developing crisis in Sudan. I implore all parties to address any differences through peaceful means for the sake of the security of the people of Sudan and stability in the country and the region, especially during this Holy month of Ramzan,” Ruto said in a statement issued Saturday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
He said the outbreak of violence will only reverse the gains Sudan has made to the detriment of its lasting peace and prosperity. Ruto said Kenya and the East Africa bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) states are available and ready to contribute to the resolution of this crisis.
The statement came as clashes between the two parties erupted on Saturday in Sudan’s capital Khartoum. The paramilitary group, RSF, claims its units took control of the presidential palace and Khartoum’s international airport, along with another airport and military base north of the capital.
However, SAF Spokesman Brigadier-General Nabil Abdallah refuted the claims, saying it had gained control over RSF leadership “without resistance” and had struck RSF bases, chasing after paramilitary units.
On his part, Deng Dau Deng, South Sudan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said President Kiir is following the developments in neighboring Sudan with deep concern.
Deng said Kiir was in constant communication with the leaders of Sudan to de-escalate the current situation. “The Republic of South Sudan which is the closest country to Sudan expresses its hope that the current situation is brought to a speedy end,” he said in a statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Deng said Juba which brokered the Sudan peace agreement continues to remain a major guarantor of that agreement and called for an immediate ceasefire and commencement of talks to resolve pertinent issues that led to the current situation.