Horndiplomat-The IGAD Council of Ministers held its 65th Extra-ordinary session at the UNECA today, Wednesday, September 12, in Addis Ababa. The Foreign Ministers of IGAD member countries, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda, as well as representatives of the AU Commission, the UN, and IGAD partners, were present.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Chairperson of IGAD Council of Ministers, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, welcomed delegates, noting the session was convened at a time when a wind of peace was blowing through the region and offering the opportunity to lift relations to a higher level advance and deepen economic integration. The Chairperson thanked Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir for his leadership in the IGAD-mediated South Sudan talks in Khartoum, and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda for his role. He also applauded the positive gesture extended by Kenya for the mediation process to continue and be concluded in Khartoum.
IGAD Secretary Engineer Mahboub Maalim addressed the session and invited Ambassador Ismail Wais, ,IGAD Special Envoy on South Sudan, to deliver his report on the outcome of Khartoum round of talks and on the recommendations to resolve the South Sudan conflict for the Council’s deliberation.
Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan appreciated the IGAD’s tireless efforts and its deliberations to help find solutions for the South Sudan conflict. Minister Nhial underlined the commitment of the South Sudan government to reach a deal with the opposition parties to meet the aspirations of the South Sudanese people for peace. He pledged to hammer out solutions to the remaining issues of the opposition.
The IGAD Council Ministers then went into closed session, before the Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government take place in the afternoon. According to the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry