Kibaki Urges Spotlight on Eritrea During IGAD Meeting

IGAD-Fast becoming a branch of the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry

By Bernard Momanyi,

President Mwai Kibaki is urging his counterparts in the IGAD region to enhance security measures to curb the growing destabilisation activities associated with Eritrea.

He told a high-powered summit in Addis Ababa on Monday that there was need to embrace what he termed as “collective security measures for sustainable development”.

“The Executive Council has drawn our attention to the growing destabilisation activities in the region, associated with Eritrea,” he said at an IGAD Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. “This is a matter of serious concern and it is my hope that this Summit will focus some attention on it in view of the need for collective security and sustainable peace.”

Eritrea has been accused of engaging in activities which potentially harm peace and stability in the region, including troubled the Somalia which has been at war for more than 20 years.

“It is in the interest of all our countries that these issues are adequately dealt with at this summit,” said President Kibaki was is the chairman and rapporteur of the IGAD sub committee on Sudan.

On Southern Sudan, President Kibaki urged his regional counterparts to continue supporting it even as it heads for a major split to give birth to the world’s youngest nation on Saturday.

The Head of State told the summit that achieving sustainable peace in the Sudan remains a matter of common interest in the Horn of Africa region. He reiterated that Kenya will remain steadfast in its support to both the North and Southern Sudan to succeed in forging harmonious relations.  (Source)

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Ethiopia Reaffirms Importance of IGAD to Its National and Regional Interests

Ezega.com,

Ethiopia´s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a public reaffirmation of its commitment to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and to the role it plays in complementing the country´s national and regional interests.

The statement appeared in the February 11, 2011, edition of the Foreign Ministry´s regular publication entitled “A Week in the Horn”. It confirms that: “Ethiopia’s engagement in the context of IGAD has been entirely consistent with its policies of pursuing mutually beneficial relations with neighbors as part of its central aim of achieving sustainable economic development”.

From an international perspective, IGAD plays a key role in promoting and establishing the regional peace, stability, and development that will then help enable Ethiopia to achieve and sustain the same domestically.

IGAD Contributions

According to “A Week in the Horn”, IGAD has consistently and successfully aided in the management of regional problems that have had both direct and indirect effects on Ethiopia´s security and development.

For example, IGAD has been instrumental to developing and monitoring the cross-border treaties necessary for regional cooperation in the areas of trade, humanitarian aid delivery, security, and development.

Noting that conflicts have both a direct and an indirect effect on the areas mentioned above, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote that it was very pleased with IGAD´s involvement and contribution to resolving the conflicts in Somalia and Sudan. Moreover, the Ministry feels that IGAD has been an important contributor to dialogue between Ethiopia and its neighbors to the extent that some possible conflicts have been prevented.

IGAD Deficiencies

Although intended as a statement in favor of IGAD, the Foreign Ministry´s comments were also critical in some areas where it feels that IGAD has been deficient. These areas are those of infrastructural development, food security, and environmental protection. Furthermore, these areas are crucial to the Ethiopian government´s new “Development and Transformation” plan.

As regards these shortcomings, the Foreign Ministry gives the assurance that: “These are all areas that Ethiopia believes can be worked out within the context of bilateral relations with neighboring countries and within the regional context of IGAD”. (Source)

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