ADDIS ABABA – Leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region appreciated the positive steps taken by the federal government to bring peace to northern Ethiopia.
The regional bloc said this in a communique issued following the 39th IGAD Extraordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday.
The federal government, months after declaring a humanitarian truce, formed a committee that will negotiate with TPLF to end nearly two-year conflict in northern Ethiopia.
IGAD’s assembly appreciated the positive steps taken by the government of Ethiopia toward humanitarian access and the peaceful resolution of the conflict in northern Ethiopia.
The leaders also praised the government’s planned all-inclusive national dialogue.
IGAD also expressed support to the Sudanese-led and owned peace talks and the facilitation role of the trilateral AU-IGAD-UN mechanism as well as South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement with a call to solve outstanding issues.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, President Uhuru Kenyatta, and President Ismael Omar Guelleh attended the Assembly that was chaired by the Chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, Vice President of South Sudan, Defense Minister of Uganda, IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu, and representatives of regional and international organizations attended the assembly.
Drought remains a Regional Concern
The extraordinary assembly was held amid countries in the region struggling with unprecedented drought after two straight years of inadequate rainfall.
The Assembly stressed that the 40-years-high drought coupled with the shortage of food supplies due to the conflict in Ukraine, Covid-19, and heavy flooding are undermining humanitarian and health situations in the region.
The communique said the heads of states “are fully aware of the need to manage it early and effectively.”
IGAD Member states also agreed to work more collaboratively on the situation and further continue to come up with permanent solutions to the chronic challenges of drought and food insecurity.
The assembly called on international partners and donors to urgently scall up humanitarian support and recommit resources, particularly, to the health sector, and agreed to scale up livelihood programs to protect the lives and livelihoods of farmers, agro-pastoralist, and pastoralist communities in the region.
The ongoing drought has left at least 20 million people in the region in need of emergency food aid this year, according to reports.