Kenya’s President, Dr William Ruto, on Saturday arrived in Djibouti for the 14th Ordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Assembly of Heads of State and Government scheduled to take place on 12 June 2023 in Djibouti city, Djibouti.
At the Djibouti international airport, Dr Ruto was received by among others IGAD Executive Secretary Dr Workneh Gebeyehu who described the opportunity as an honour.
“Honoured to receive H.E the President of the Republic of Kenya at Djibouti airport ahead of the IGAD Ordinary Summit. Looking forward to H.E President Ruto’s participation and wise guidance on regional matters of the highest importance to the peoples of our region,” Dr Gebeyehu wron on Twitter on Saturday.
According to Kenya State House spokesperson, Hussein Mohamed, prior to the Summit, the President will engage in bilateral talks with his Djibouti counterpart President Ismail Omar Guelleh, aimed at strengthening and deepening the existing ties between the two nations.
“The discussions will cover various areas of mutual interest, including trade relations, collaboration in the field of green energy, as well as the pursuit of regional peace and security. President Ruto is also scheduled to address members of the Djibouti Parliament,” Hussein said in a statement.
IGAD is a regional body comprising eight member states that include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda (Eritrea is currently inactive).
The Assembly of Heads of State and Government (The Summit) is the supreme policy making organ of the Authority. It determines the objectives, guidelines and programs for the Secretariat.
During Monday’s sitting, the Assembly is expected to bring together leaders from the IGAD member states to discuss a range of issues critical to the region’s peace, security, and development.
The African Union, Members of the diplomatic community and representatives from the United Nations and the European Union will also be in attendance.
The Assembly will also provide an opportunity for IGAD member states to review the progress made in addressing these issues and to discuss new strategies for achieving sustainable development in the region.
The discussions are expected to focus on ways to strengthen cooperation between member states, enhance regional integration, and promote peace and stability, and economic growth and social development.
The IGAD member states are committed to working together to address the challenges facing the region and to promote peace, stability, and prosperity for all.
The summit is expected to produce a joint communiqué outlining the outcomes of the discussions and the way forward for the region.
Sudan Crisis on Agenda
This year’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government comes amid the conflict between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) which has unleashed widespread violence and instability throughout the country for a couple of months now.
While there are ongoing de-escalation efforts and peace initiatives from global and regional influencers including the United States (US), Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, it is highly unlikely that there will be any peace between the two groups in the foreseeable future.
In playing its role of encouraging regional peace and stability, this IGAD Assembly is expected to dedicate enough time to resolve the crisis and as well devise means of enabling the two parties to respect the multiple ceasefires they have previously not adhered to.
Dr Gebeyehu earlier on Saturday said he had held “productive meetings” with H.E. Malik Agar and his delegation. Agar is the Vice Chair of the Sudan Transitional Sovereign Council.