East Africa: IGAD to Hold a Summit Over Tigray Crisis

Ethiopian refugees fleeing clashes in the country's northern Tigray region cross the border into Hamdayet, Sudan.
14 December 2020

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok disclosed that he has agreed with Ethiopian counterpart, Abiy Ahmed, to have an urgent meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to resolve the crisis in Ethiopia's Tigray region.

Founded in 1996, IGAD brings together the East African nations of Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.

Hamdok visited Ethiopia on Sunday, December 13, becoming the first foreign leader to visit the Ethiopian capital since fighting broke out in Tigray on November 4, creating a humanitarian crisis and killing of thousands of people.

A Sudanese government official told AFP news agency that the meeting between Hamdok and Abiy had been "fruitful, especially on the emergency meeting of IGAD" and on reviving a committee to work on delineating their shared border.

However, there was no immediate comment by Ethiopia's government on the announcement.

On the Ethiopian side, Abiy, winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize, said Hamdok expressed support for the offensive against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) during face-to-face talks.

"The Sudanese side reiterated their solidarity with the government of Ethiopia in the law enforcement operations it has been undertaking," said a statement from Abiy's office.

Hamdok's travel to Addis Ababa came amid a growing refugee crisis that has seen some 50,000 Ethiopians flee conflict in the northern Tigray region into neighbouring Sudan, adding to Sudan's economic and security burdens.

Two weeks ago, the Ethiopian leader declared victory in the fight against the now-fugitive regional government in Tigray.

Separately on Sunday, Abiy said on Twitter that he visited the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle for the first time since federal forces claimed control of the city on November 28.


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