It was a cheerful Worqneh Gebeyhu (PhD) (second from left) that chaired the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) 66th extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers.

It came two days after the United Nations Security Council lifted sanctions against Eritrea, which Ethiopia had requested a few months ago and voted in favour of on Wednesday. With that optimism and excitement, last Friday’s session at the Sheraton Addis proceeded to the sobering topic of instituting peace, stability and development in Somalia and South Sudan.

The latter, the youngest country in the world, has been in a civil war since 2013, despite various attempts at peace deals. The two warring factions of the nation, whose migrant population in Ethiopia numbers in the hundreds of thousands, has recently signed a new peace deal in an attempt to end the war. The Council applauded and called for the international community to support the peace process.

Re-building of institutions and economic recovery in Somalia, a nation that continuously grapples with terror attacks and is faced with a weak government, was also discussed. While the resumption of flights by air carriers in Kenya and Ethiopia to Mogadishu have been positive developments, it was soured by a deadly series of car bombings at the capital that left over 50 dead.

The session had positive developments it could look back to that came in the past few months, such as the warming up of relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and an agreement for the normalisation of ties between Eritrea and Djibouti.

The meeting was held ahead of the African Union summit, where reform proposals for the continental organisation and its commissions are expected to pass. Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, current chairman of the organisation, has come up with a series of recommendations for change, including downsizing of commissions.

Published on Nov 21,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 969]



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