2 May 2013

Ethiopia: IGAD Holds the 47th Extra-Ordinary Council of Ministers Meeting

The 47th Extra-ordinary IGAD Council of Minsiters Meeting was held yesterday (May 02,2013) here in Addis Ababa at the Hilton hotel. The Meeting was attended by Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers, Fowzia Yusuf, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, Ali Ahmed Karti, Foreign Minister of Sudan, Sam Kutesa, Foreign Minister of Uganda, Nhial Deng Nhial , Foreign Minister of South Sudan, Ahmed Ali Silay, Minister Delegate for International Cooperation of Djibouti , Monica Juma Permanent Representative of Kenya to IGAD and Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD.

The Ministerial Meeting held discussions on three main agendas: political situation in Somalia, consideration of the agenda and draft communiqué for today's Heads of State and Government's Summit. In his opening remarks Dr. Tedros noted the peaceful conduct of the recent Kenyan presidential election, the partial lifting of the arms embargo in Somalia and the recent signing of the implementation matrix between Sudan and South Sudan as positive development in peace and security of the region in the past three months, since the last extraordinary meeting which was held in January 2013.

He congratulated the Federal government of Somalia's recent meetings with regional administrations as vital step towards consolidating the implementation of the new federal arrangement. He also reaffirmed that IGAD resolute stand to remain at the forefront of the quest for peace and underlined the need for the international community to support its efforts.

He said "it is vital for the international community to join hands with IGAD in stabilizing Somalia in a manner that ensures the full ownership of the process by the government of Somalia in accordance with the priorities it set. Ambassador Mahboob Maaalim for his part also appreciated the recent meeting of the President Shiekh Mahmoud with the leadership of Somaliland and Puntland as "excellent gesture that should be encouraged" and condemned the recent Alshabab militants attack on the supreme court of Somalia.

The Meeting discussed at length the political situation in Somalia and endorsed the five principles originally proposed by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and later enshrined in the recently signed memorandum between President Uhuru Kenyata and President Sheikh Mahmoud namely, respect and full implementation of the constitution of Somalia, the centrality of inclusiveness in Somalia's political process, the process to be led and owned by Somali government, IGAD's supportive role in the process and the continued focus of on fighting Alshbab as common enemy of member states. The Meeting agreed the principles to be incorporated in the draft comunique of the Summit to be adopted by IGAD members heads of state and governmnent.

The Meeting came in to agreement that IGAD members should forge a common position on the upcoming the London Conference on Somalia. It also passed a draft resolution to be adopted by the Summit and also a draft agenda for today's presidential summit. Today's Presedential Summit is expected to hear the report of the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and pass communiqué after a though deliberation.

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