German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock Presents Five-Point Plan to End Sudan Conflict

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is intensifying efforts to bring an end to the protracted Sudan conflict by unveiling a comprehensive five-point plan.

For an End to the Sudan Conflict

Diplomatic pressure alone is not enough,” emphasizes Foreign Minister Baerbock, who wants to advance peace efforts in the Sudan conflict. After a meeting with Kenyan President Ruto, she presented a five-point plan.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock aims to revive the stalled mediation efforts in the bloody power struggle in Sudan with a five-point initiative. “In Sudan, multiple crises have been piling up for decades, exacerbated by the climate crisis,” said the Green Party politician after a meeting with Kenyan President William Ruto on Thursday evening.

She discussed with Ruto “how we can increase the pressure on both conflicting parties to end this terrible war,” she said. At the end of her East Africa visit, Baerbock will visit a refugee settlement in South Sudan today to see the dramatic humanitarian situation in the region.

7.5 million refugees in the Sudan crisis

In Sudan, since mid-April 2023, de facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his former deputy and leader of the Sudanese militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, have been fighting for power. According to the UN, nearly 7.5 million people have fled since the start of the conflict. International efforts to achieve a ceasefire have so far been unsuccessful.

Following the meeting with the Kenyan president, Baerbock stated that several points were crucial to her. International mediation efforts need to be coordinated more strongly than before. In addition, civilian Sudanese actors in exile and at home must be supported. To prevent Sudan’s collapse from plunging the entire region into chaos, military support to the conflicting parties from outside must be stopped.

“A War Against Women in Sudan”

“Diplomatic pressure alone is not enough,” declared Baerbock. “Targeted sanctions are needed to increase pressure on the conflicting parties.” Moreover, “a bright light needs to be shed on the terrible crimes committed” by both warring parties. “Because the feeling that no one is paying attention creates an atmosphere of impunity and further exacerbates the atrocities.”

The United Nations believes that millions of women have become victims of the most brutal sexual violence, not by chance, but through systematic methods used as a war tactic, the foreign minister said. “The Sudan war is also a war against women in Sudan.” Sustainable peace will only be achieved “when the Sudanese civilian population, and especially women, rather than the military, have a say in the future of the country.”

Visit to UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

At the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Baerbock gathered information about the situation in the East African country. She was welcomed in the capital Juba by the deputy head of the military observation mission and the longest-serving officer of the German contingent of UNMISS, Colonel Hans Peter Dorfm├╝ller. Just on Wednesday, the German federal cabinet approved an extension of German participation in UNMISS – the Bundestag still needs to approve it.

The UN mission currently consists of around 13,000 peacekeepers from 73 countries, approximately 1,500 police officers, and about 2,600 civilians. They are supposed to ensure the protection of returning refugees, among other tasks. Currently, 14 German soldiers are involved. They are deployed in the mission’s headquarters and as military observers.

After the meeting with UN soldiers, Baerbock also plans to visit a refugee settlement. Gorom, located about 20 kilometers west of Juba, has been home to refugees from Ethiopia, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo for years. Gorom was initially set up for approximately 3,000 people but hosted around 10,000 refugees in December. The South Sudanese government recently announced that it would seek a total of $1.8 billion from the international community and aid organizations to support the people who have fled from Sudan.

Side trip to Jordan planned

In the afternoon, the minister also plans to hold talks with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the First Vice President Riek Machar. According to the German government, South Sudan is one of the most unstable countries in the world, characterized by a dramatic humanitarian situation. Since February 2020, the country has had a transitional government of national unity led by Mayardit and his long-term opponent Machar. The first elections since independence in 2011 are scheduled for December 2024.

On her way back to Germany, Baerbock is also planning to make a brief stop in Jordan in connection with the mediation efforts in the Gaza conflict. Baerbock will “continue her journey to Jordan following her East Africa trip, where she will hold political talks on the Middle East crisis on Saturday,” according to sources from the foreign minister’s delegation.