30 October 2012

Kenya: Eritrea Should Back Regional Peace Before Re-Admission to IGAD, Says Kenya's President

Photo: UN Photo/Jorge Aramburu
UN peacekeepers patrolling Eritrea (file photo).

Kenyan President, Mwai Kibaki, has on Monday (October 29) urged Eritrea to support regional peace initiatives before it re-joins the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD).

Kibaki made the statement following a special message he received from the Eritrean President via the Eritrean Ambassador to Kenya, Beyene Russom. While expressing Kenya's readiness to work closely with neighboring countries committed to promote regional peace and security, Kibaki underlined the importance for Eritrea to work to ensure peace and security in the Horn of Africa Region. A statement from Kibaki's office said: "President Kibaki welcomed Eritrea's decision to rejoin IGAD subject to the Government of Eritrea's support for regional peace initiatives". Eritrea has a proven track-record of disruption in the region. It stopped its membership to IGAD in 2007 willingly in an attempt to cover its disruptive behaviour, and due to its desire to continue on its anti-peace activities. Member states have proved that the regime in Asmara has failed to work for regional peace, and resort to support destabilizing forces in the region such as Al-Shabaab. The regime had also been opposing IGAD's peace keeping policies in Somalia aiming to bring stability to the war-torn country. Following Eritrea's official request last year to rejoin IGAD, the IGAD ministerial meeting has decided that it would be the IGAD Summit which will decide on Eritrea's request for re-admission, and the Summit is yet to decide. The United Nations Monitoring Group report last year said it has found credible evidences attesting Eritrea's continued support to anti-peace elements in Somalia and other areas of the region, and imposed sanctions two times. Recent reports from credible sources also indicated that Eritrea, despite a report of reduced support, has continued on its disruptive activities in the region in different ways carefully designed to escape possible examination.

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