IGAD has officially released a statement today on recent political events in Somalia.
This comes on the backdrop of President Farmaajo’s surprise visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo just two days ago.
In a tweet on his Twitter page, President Farmaajo outlined that he “welcomes the AU to take a leading role in facilitating an election process” following his meeting with Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi on Monday.
What did IGAD have to say?
IGAD “welcomes” and “supports” the proposed initiative agreed upon by the Somali President and the Chairman of the African Union, President Tshisekedi to “reopen dialogue” between Somali stakeholders to resolve the current political impasse which has been on-going for months.
The organisation also strongly urged all Somali leaders to exercise “maximum restraint and refrain” from any action that would perpetuated the already volatile situation in Mogadishu.
It is important to note that surprisingly unlike other international partners of Somalia, IGAD has failed to mention the 17th September Agreement which has remained the continued theme from partners such as USA, UK and the EU.
This statement comes at an important moment in the Somali elections impasse as there currently seems to be no direct dialogue between the Farmaajo administration and opposition politicians. Just this week, a woman lost her life in the Shiirkole area of Mogadishu after shots were fired. No one has claimed responsibility.
Tensions between opposition factions and government remain high.
What is IGAD?
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development is the regional trade bloc in East Africa with the purpose of providing a strategic and integrated framework for regional cooperation. It is comprises of eight countries including Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, South Sudan and Sudan.
While the African Union represents all African states, IGAD is region specific authority catered to the affairs of East Africa.