Somalilandsun: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is holding its 38th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government Djibouti.
Members include Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
The meeting was called to discuss ongoing peace and security initiatives in the Horn and East Africa countries that are members of the regional block.
Apart from host Ismail Omar Guelleh other heads of state and governments in attendance include President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, Vice President of South Sudan Rebecca Garang , Uganda is represented by his ambassador to Djibouti Rebecca Otengo and Somalia president Farmajo
The summit is also attended by African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, who said at the opening session that diplomatic tensions between Kenya and Somalia are a source of concern for the African Union.
At the opening session, host of the conference, President Ismail Guelleh commended the efforts made in maintaining peace and stability in the region despite the Covid-19 epidemic and other catastrophic floods and locust infestations.
The 38th IGAD summit was convened by Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, who chairs the bloc, to discuss, among other things, the ongoing civil war in Ethiopia, border clashes between Ethiopia and Sudan as well as diplomatic tensions between Kenya and Somalia.
Though Somaliland is conspicuously absent because it is not recognised as a sovereign nation, she is definitely in the meeting room both plenary and sideline.
While an anomaly for Somaliland the leaders attempt to resolve the Kenya and Somalia diplomatic row will touch on her since Authorities in Mogadishu severed relations with Nairobi because the Kenyan President hosted President Bihi of Somaliland , a country that President Farmajo considers a regional administration of Somalia.
As per the words of Mahamat during the opening session the two countries (Kenya/Somalia had a long history of good cooperation and were forced to resolve their problems through dialogue.
In connection with Ethiopia, the AU commission has urged IGAD members to help the country cope with the humanitarian crisis in Tigray province.
While the summit explores conflict resolution and peace in the region a first time participant is South Sudan vice-president Rebecca Garang.
On her presence Garang said in remarks to SSBC that she had been assigned by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to “to represent him in a the IGAD conference.”
Yesterday, Garang told the state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation at Juba International Airport that she was leaving the country for Djibouti to attend – on behalf of President Salva Kiir – the IGAD summit of the head of states and governments.
“I am leaving for Djibouti to represent the people of South Sudan and H.E the President of the Republic Salva Kiir Mayardit at the meeting of the IGAD heads of state and government,” , adding that the regional summit “will discuss important issues affecting the region