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IGAD: Djibouti's president calls for bold leadership

Djibouti President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, centre, attends the IGAD summit in State House, in Entebbe, Uganda. 18/01/2024   -  
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Djibouti's president Ismail Omar Guelleh said on Thursday that mediating conflicts in Sudan and elsewhere in the region would require bold leadership.

The president was speaking during a meeting of the East African regional bloc IGAD in Uganda to discuss Sudan and the recent tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia.

“We convene today under a sense of urgency as our region grapples with challenging times, be it the devastating conflict in our sister nation Sudan or the recent developments in relations with Somalia and Ethiopia," said Guelleh. "These challenges necessitate bold leadership, unwavering commitments and a shared vision that transcends borders and ideologies.”

The leaders issued a communique urging the parties to Sudan's conflict to engage in constructive dialogue and reiterated a call for a ceasefire.

The eight-member bloc is part of mediation efforts to end the conflict, along with Saudi Arabia and the United States, which facilitated rounds of unsuccessful, indirect talks between the warring parties as recently as early November. The two military leaders have yet to meet in person since the war broke out.

On Tuesday, the Sudanese government suspended ties with the bloc, after paramilitary leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo was invited to the summit. 

Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused IGAD in a statement of “violating Sudan’s sovereignty” and setting a “dangerous precedent”.

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