Somalia hosts Igad summit for first time in 30 years

Published On : Thursday, September 15 2016

Regional leaders met in Mogadishu Tuesday for an extraordinary Igad summit to discuss the security situation in Somalia ahead of the election and the South Sudan crisis.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) summit was held in Somalia for the first time in three decades since the regional bloc was formed in 1986.

The summit was attended by heads of state and governments from Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Host President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud described the occasion as a great moment for Somalia.

“Hosting such a high profile summit is a clear indication of recognition from the region and the international community of the progress the country has been making towards building a new Somalia, after more than two decades of anarchy,” he said. The country fell into civil war in 1991 after President Siad Barre was toppled.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking in the Somali capital, observed that holding the Igad Summit in Mogadishu was an attestation of the confidence the region has on the Federal Government of Somalia and its progress towards the restoration of peace and stability.

He encouraged the Somali authorities to ensure the implementation of governance and state formation as envisioned in Somalia Vision 2016 as they head to elections from September 24 to October 30.

Igad chairman, Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn said: “We are not there yet but Igad is confident that its efforts will succeed in the complete restoration of peace and stability in Somalia.”

In Mogadishu, security was enhanced and main roads were closed to ensure the safety for the dignitaries and to curtail any movements by the Al Shabaab that may threaten the summit.

Al Shabaab has often used car bombs to launch attacks in Mogadishu, which are then followed by gunmen storming into a building.

The leaders were also briefed on the South Sudan peace process and the progress made so far by the Igad executive secretary Mahboub Maalim.