Sudan's army general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, did not attend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit on 18 January.
IGAD is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa. It includes governments from the Horn of Africa, the Nile Valley, and the African Great Lakes, and it is headquartered in Djibouti.
It has taken on the gargantuan task of trying to bring Sudan's warring factions to the negotiating table to end the country's civil war, which began in April of last year.
Al-Burhan's reason for snubbing the summit was that a key item agreed upon in the previous summit held in December was never actioned: a meeting between al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) chief Mohamed Hamadan Dagalo, aka Hemedti.
Although Hemedti initially agreed to the IGAD framework, Sudan's foreign ministry issued a statement that he had backtracked on his stance because the meeting between the two generals was conditioned on a permanent ceasefire and the relocation of RSF forces outside the capital, Khartoum — a condition which the group rejects.