By Ivan Kaahwa
The 42nd Extraordinary Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government was convened on Thursday, 18th January 2024, in Entebbe, Republic of Uganda, to address the situation in the Republic of the Sudan and recent developments in the relationship between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Chaired by H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti and the Chairperson of the IGAD Heads of State and Government, the Assembly included attendees such as H.E. Dr. William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya; H.E. Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia; H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan; and H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda.
Following statements and deliberations on the situation in the Republic of the Sudan and recent developments in the relation between Ethiopia and Somalia, the Assembly:
- Congratulated the people and the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for successfully hosting the 42nd Extraordinary IGAD Assembly, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the G77 + China Summits.
- Expressed deep concern about the relation between Ethiopia and Somalia, reaffirmed the cardinal principles of respect for the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Somalia, stressing that any engagement should have the consent of the Federal Government of Somalia.
- Called upon Ethiopia and Somalia to de-escalate tensions and engage in constructive dialogue.
- Expressed concern about the continued fighting in the Republic of the Sudan, urging the parties to commit to dialogue and negotiation. IGAD reiterated its readiness to facilitate an all-inclusive peace process in collaboration with all Sudanese stakeholders, AU, and international actors.
- Emphasized that Sudan belongs to its people and called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, urging parties to end hostilities for a political dialogue.
- Underscored the primary responsibility of IGAD Member States to ensure the will of the Sudanese people prevails.
- Recalled the commitment of the conflict parties for a face-to-face meeting within 14 days, urging them to meet within two weeks.
- Stressed that IGAD Member States would use all means to ensure a peaceful resolution of the Sudan conflict, directing the IGAD Secretariat to provide updates to the Assembly.
- Directed the IGAD Secretariat, in coordination with the AUC, to revise the Roadmap for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of the Sudan within one month, aiming for a Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led process towards a democratic government.
- Called upon IGAD, AU, and the international community to mobilize support for the peace process in the Republic of the Sudan.
- Welcomed the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for appointing members of a High-Level Panel for Sudan, urging the Panel to collaborate with IGAD and other stakeholders.
- Decided to remain actively seized of these matters.
Other notable participants were H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, the Executive Secretary of IGAD; H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; H.E. Ramtane Lamamra, Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan; H.E. Eng. Waleed M. Alkhuraji, Deputy Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; H.E. Annette Weber, European Union Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa; H.E. Ambassador Michael Hammer, US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa; H.E. Hossam Eldin Mohamed, Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States; H.E. Mohamed Abdi Ware, IGAD Deputy Executive Secretary; Ambassador Ismail Wais (PhD), IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan and IGAD representative for the Sudan Peace Process; Ambassador Mohamed Ali Guyo (PhD), IGAD Special Envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Somalia; and the Chief-of-Staff of the Office of the UN Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa.
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