Africa-Press – Ethiopia. s Ababa July 5/2022 /ENA/ Member countries of IGAD have underscored the need to collaboratively address and diplomatically tackle national political and security related issues that bear greater ramifications on the region.
The 39th Extraordinary Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government was held in Nairobi, Kenya, today.
In a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the meeting, the member countries underscored the need to collaboratively address and diplomatically tackle national political and security related issues that bear greater ramifications on the IGAD region.
They commended the ongoing all-inclusive Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led talks with a view to finding solutions to the political situation in the country and appreciated the positive steps taken by the Government of Sudan to this end.
They also welcomed the establishment of the Trilateral AU-IGAD-UN mechanism for the work done thus far in facilitating dialogue between the differing parties.
According to the communiqué, the leaders appreciated the positive steps by the Government of Ethiopia towards humanitarian access and the peaceful resolution of the conflict affecting the northern part of the country and national all-inclusive dialogue.
In this regard, IGAD expressed its readiness to support the ongoing efforts.
Furthermore, the member states commended the process made so far in implementing key provisions of Chapter Two of Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) regarding the unification of forces.
They called upon the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity and the parties to draw up a road map with clear benchmarks and realistic time lines to complete the remaining tasks, including the conduct of elections.
Moreover, they appealed to key partners of the South Sudan peace process, particularly the United States of America, to reconsider their decision to significantly scale down their support to the peace process in South Sudan that is crippling the work of critical agreement mechanisms such as the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism.
On the other hand, they expressed alarm regarding the serious drought situation in the region, predicted to be the worst in 40 years, fully aware of the need to manage it early and effectively.
They stressed that member states shall work more collaboratively and closely to respond to the current situation and further continue to come up with permanent solutions to the chronic challenge of drought and food insecurity that continues to plague the region.
The humanitarian and health situation in the IGAD region continues to deteriorate due to widespread and prolonged drought, further compounded by the shortage of food supplies caused by conflict in Ukraine, the impact of COVID-19 on health systems and infrastructure and heavy flooding in some parts of the region.
They called international partners and donors to urgently scale up humanitarian assistance and recommit resources particularly to the health sector.
The members also urged respective governments, humanitarian and development partners and international donors to direct all efforts and commitments to prevent the further worsening of the humanitarian crisis in the region.
Finally, they urged for livelihood programs to be scaled-up to protect the lives and livelihood of farmers, agro-pastoralists and pastoralist communities.
The summit was attended by Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Djibouti and Uganda.