Sudan Elected as Chair of Regional Bloc IGAD

ADDIS ABEBA – Sudan assumes the chairpersonship of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Friday as Kenya and Djibouti miss out on the position.

Earlier this week, reports were saying the two nations could both miss out on the chairmanship due to their simmering differences in recent times.

Djibouti recently lost to Kenya at an African Union vote to endorse the African candidate for the UN Security Council seat.

But the country has stuck in the race, launching campaigns and accusing the African Union of not following a proper procedure to endorse a candidate.

Somalia, which supports Djibouti for the UN seat, has also staked against Nairobi.

The East African reported that Somalia and Djibouti, who have been opposed to Kenya taking over the chairmanship, have not relented, speculating another country could take the position as a compromise.

Today, a compromise was made by leaders and heads of state attending the 13th Ordinary Summit of the IGAD in Addis Ababa and chose Sudan as chairperson. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok took the mantle for a year from Ethiopia that held the position for close to 10 years.

Abiy Ahmed, who had been the chair since he became prime minister of Ethiopia in April 2018, expressed his gratitude to member states that trusted his country with the leadership of the organization, said the office of the Prime Minister.

The regional bloc too, in a communique released later today, appreciated and thanked Ethiopia “for the pivotal role it has played in steering and spearheading the work of IGAD as the Chair for over a decade”.

The bloc also expressed its confidence that under the new leadership of Sudan, “IGAD will reach new heights in realizing regional integration and political cooperation”.

At the beginning of the summit, Dr. Workeneh Gebeyhu officially took over the role of Executive Director of IGAD from Ambassador Mahaboub Maalim.