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News: IGAD voices serious concerns about Ethiopia-Somalia tensions and Sudan conflict, emphasizes the need for dialogue

The 42nd special session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) took place on Thursday, 18 January, 2024, with the non-participation of three member states (Photo: IGAD)

Addis Abeba – In a formal communiqué issued subsequent to the commencement of the 42th extraordinary meeting on the preceding day, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) conveyed significant apprehension regarding the mounting tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia.

The meeting, conducted in the absence of three essential member states on Thursday, 18 January 2024, in Entebbe, Uganda, sought to deliberate on recent developments concerning the diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as the prevailing situation in Sudan.

In its statement, the assembly restated its profound concern regarding the prevailing situation between Ethiopia and Somalia. The regional bloc underscored the necessity of engaging in constructive dialogue and implementing de-escalation measures to mitigate tensions and cultivate harmonious relations between the two nations.

IGAD underscored the significance of upholding the principles of sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity in Somalia. The statement emphasized that any interaction or agreement between Ethiopia and Somalia should be undertaken with the explicit consent and active involvement of the federal government of Somalia.

The regional bloc earnestly encouraged both parties to partake in substantive dialogue, prioritizing the well-being and stability of the region. IGAD underscored the imperative of achieving a peaceful and mutually beneficial resolution to the prevailing tension.

In conjunction with the tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia, the summit deliberated on the conflict in Sudan.

The Assembly conveyed profound concern regarding the persisting hostilities and the severe security and humanitarian challenges in the country. IGAD restated its plea for all parties engaged in the conflict to earnestly commit to dialogue and negotiation.

Furthermore, IGAD affirmed its preparedness to facilitate an all-encompassing peace process, collaborating with Sudanese stakeholders, the African Union, and relevant regional and international entities.

The Assembly underscored that Sudan is not the exclusive domain of the conflicting parties but belongs to the Sudanese people at large. It reiterated the appeal for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, urging the cessation of hostilities to bring an end to the unjust war and create an environment conducive to political dialogue.

The 42nd Extraordinary Assembly convened in the absence of three member states: Ethiopia, Sudan, and Eritrea, each offering distinct explanations for their non-participation.

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Ethiopia attributed its absence to a pre-existing commitment and the limited notice provided.

Sudan, however, opted to suspend its membership, expressing discontent with the agenda as the basis for its non-participation. The reason for Eritrea’s absence has not been disclosed. AS

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