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War in Sudan, Ethiopia-Somalia dispute top IGAD summit agenda

President, William Ruto, right, accompanied by Somalia President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, left, attends the IGAD summit in State House, in Entebbe, Uganda, Jan. 18, 2023.   -  
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Patrick Onen/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni hosted Thursday (Jan. 18) in Entebbe his fellow IGAD leaders.

On the agenda of the 42nd extraordinary summit of the East African bloc was the war in Sudan and dispute opposing Mogadishu to Addis Ababa.

The presidents of Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia were in attendance.

The head of Sudan, army general al-Burhan boycotted the meeting where his rival general Hamdane Daglo was invited.

The warring generals didn't meet in December despite an agreement.

In the communiqué isued at the end of the one-day summit, IGAD leaders reminded the parties their commitment and called upon them to hold a face-to-face meeting within two weeks.

The African Intergovernmental Authority on Development  (IGAD) Secretariat was directed to revise the roadmap for the Resolution of the Conflict in Sudan and convene within a month Sudanese-led talks on a democratic Government in the war-torn nation

In the Ethiopia-Somalia crisis, IGAD insisted any agreement should be with the consent of the Federal Government of Somalia;

Ethiopia recently signed an MOU with the breakaway Somali region of Somaliland to lease a 20-km strechgain access to the red sea strategic coast. 

Somalia has condemned the move and called on Ethiopia to retract its deal.

Sudan-IGAD tensions

On Tuesday (Jan.16), the Sudanese government suspended ties with the east African regional bloc trying to mediate between the country’s army and a rival powerful paramilitary force, accusing the body of violating Sudan’s sovereignty by inviting the paramilitary leader to January 18th summit.

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 are yet to meet in person since the war broke out.

Sudan entered Monday (Jan.15) in the 9th month of the war with no politically negotiated solution at hand.

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