COMMUNIQUÉ : IGAD Head of States hold 36th Extraordinary Assembly via Video Conference

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Mogadishu(SONNA)-The 36 Extraordinary Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government was held on 14 July 2020 via videoconference, chaired by H.E. Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan. The Assembly was attended by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan; H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia; H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, and H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Also, in attendance were: representatives of the IGAD Council of Ministers and Committee of Ambassadors, H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu Negewo, Executive Secretary of IGAD; H.E. Amb. Ismail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan; H.E. Amb. Mohamed Ali Guyo, IGAD Special Envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia; H.E. Dr. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Kenya Special Envoy to South Sudan and H.E. Amb. Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge, Outgoing Interim Chair of RJMEC.

Representatives of IGAD Partners present during the Assembly’s proceedings included; H.E. Smaїl Chergui, African Union Commission Commissioner for Peace and Security; H.E. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa; H.E Alexander Rondos, EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa;

H.E. Arturo Luzzi, Ambassador of Italy to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Djibouti and Co-Chair of the IGAD partners Forum (IPF) and H.E. Robert Fairweather, United Kingdom Special Envoy to Sudan, South Sudan and Representative of the Troika.

Arising from deliberations that followed statements by H.E. Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan and Chairperson of the Assembly; Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, and reports tabled by the IGAD Secretariat; and the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC);

The Assembly,
On South Sudan:

Thanked the leadership of South Sudan for its visible determination to implement the provisions of the R-ARCSS towards the establishment of a peaceful environment in South Sudan and improved protection of civilians;

Appreciated the leadership of IGAD for its unwavering commitment and consistent engagement in the peace-building process of South Sudan;

Grateful to the African Union, TROIKA (US, UK and Norway), European Union, China, IGAD Partners Forum, Japan and friends of Sudan for their continued support to the Peace Process in South Sudan;

Recognized and was encouraged by the continued holding of the ceasefire across South Sudan and thereby commended the Parties to the Agreement for continuing to abide by the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement;

Appreciated the progress made and milestones reached since the 34 Extraordinary Assembly held on 8 February 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, including appointment and inauguration of the Executive arm of the R-TGoNU;

Further encouraged and recognized efforts at reducing armed violence as spearheaded by H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit including the announcement of the disarmament of civilians and the formation of a National Taskforce to look into enduring inter- communal challenges and pastoralist conflict;

Strongly Commended the Government of South Sudan for establishing an Investigation Committee on atrocities committed against civilians in Yei River State to ensure perpetrators conform to the rule of law and noting that this initiative marks a significant milestone in subjecting the military to constitutional and legislative oversight;

Further Commended the Government for undertaking political and security initiatives to contain armed clashes and intercommunal violence;

Noted the pending matter of responsibility-sharing at the State and Local Governments level, and in the light of this, called upon the Parties to swiftly resolve the impasse through an all-inclusive, transparent and collegial process of consultations and dialogue;

Appealed to the President of the Republic to dissolve the current TNLA before 26 July 2020; and the Parties to reconstitute the TNLA in accordance with the R-ARCSS within seven (7) days of the dissolution of the incumbent TNLA;

Called upon the R-TGoNU to honour commitments made during the 71 IGAD Council of Ministers Meeting to take remedial measures to immediately rectify the alterations made to the Constitutional Amendment Bill;

Urged the Government of South Sudan to provide the necessary funding and logistical support to expedite the implementation of the security arrangement plan particularly the completion of the training, graduation, and redeployment of the national unified forces;

Requested the Government to provide adequate financial support to the Disarmament and Demobilization Commission (DDRC) to undertake a comprehensive reintegration process;

Appealed to the Parties to adhere to the requirement for 35% women representation in appointments of the pending offices including TNLA nominations;

Called upon non-signatories to the Agreement under the umbrella of SSOMA and the Incumbent Transitional Government of National Unity (I-TGONU) to continue abiding by the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the Rome Declaration of 12 January 2020 and continue consultations as soon as the situation allows;

Appealed to IGAD Member States, the international community and friends of South Sudan to provide the much needed financial and technical support to enable CTSAMVM to effectively discharge its mandate;

Appreciated the continuing efforts by the IGAD Secretariat in close collaboration with the AU Commission towards effecting discussions and processes in pursuit of a vital post-conflict reconstruction needs assessment;

Called upon friends of South Sudan in the international community to collaborate with IGAD, the AU and the UN to support mechanisms for a South Sudan Reconstruction and Recovery Fund;

Urged the R-TGoNU to prioritize the pre-transitional tasks that can be effectively accomplished within the current context of the COVID- 19 pandemic including formation of the Council of States;

Resolved that in the event that the Parties are not able to settle outstanding pre-transitional tasks within 30 days of adoption of this Communiqué, that is on or before 13 August 2020, the IGAD Chair will intervene to directly engage with Parties with a view to assist in concluding the pending matters.

On the IGAD Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Commended the Secretariat under the leadership of H.E Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu for fast-tracking the formulation and implementation of the comprehensive, 5-pillar IGAD Regional Response Strategy to COVID-19 as directed by the 35 Extraordinary Assembly on 30 March 2020 and took note the progress made thus far;

Directed the IGAD Secretariat produce a Monthly Regional Status Update Report on COVID-19 and corresponding responses in the region;

Called for the adoption of Regional Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of Cross Border Transport Operations across the Region in preparation for gradual and sequenced deconfinement and re- opening of the air space between Member States;

Gratified by the generous support from the international community and agencies, particularly the support of the European Union valued 60 Million Euros as well as support from the World Bank, African Development Bank and Sweden for the IGAD Regional Response Strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic;

Welcomed the establishment of the IGAD Emergency Fund for the control and prevention of pandemic diseases and noted with appreciation the generous contribution of the Government of the Republic of Kenya to the Fund;

Called upon the international community to provide technical, material and financial support to the IGAD Secretariat in the implementation of the comprehensive IGAD Regional Response Strategy to COVID-19;

Recognized the unique vulnerabilities of refugees, migrants and IDPs to COVID-19 and Commended Member States for ensuring that national response strategies guaranteed equal attention to all persons, irrespective of their citizenship and socio-demographic status in the enduring spirit of the 2017 Nairobi Declaration on Durable Solutions for Refugees and Reintegration of Returnees;

Alarmed by the unprecedented triple-threat of COVID-19, Desert Locust invasion and Floods impact on the food security situation in the IGAD Region which has doubled of the number of people at risk of acute food insecurity to over 50 million;

Called upon the international community to work closely with Member States to support the IGAD Secretariat in the implementation of the Food Security Response component as affected by COVID-19, Desert Locusts and Floods and within the framework of the IGAD Regional Response Strategy;

On R-JMEC:

Appreciated the outstanding work and years of distinguished service of the outgoing Interim Chair of RJMEC, Amb. Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge;

Endorsed the appointment of Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Charles Tai Gituai as the new interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Evaluation replacing the outgoing interim Chairperson of R-JMEC, Amb. Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Augostino Njoroge;

Agreed to hold further consultations regarding the appointment of a substantive Chair to R-JMEC;

On Sudan,

Appreciated the outcomes of the Sudan Partnership Conference Co- Hosted by Germany, the European Union and the United Nations that galvanized the support of the international community for the Transitional Government of Sudan, and congratulated H.E. Abdalla Hamdok, on the monumental triumph of the conference;

Noted the changes in the transitional government of Sudan and expressed optimism that the accommodation of additional stakeholders will accelerate the reform process and deepen civilian rule;

Welcomed indications that the United States is considering de-listing Sudan from the State sponsors of terrorism and calls upon the international community to lift the economic sanctions affecting the wider Sudanese population that are currently in place;

On Somalia,

Commended the ongoing dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and Somaliland under the patronage President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and look forward to progress reports of the technical committees that have been established to steer the parties towards an amicable solution;

Took Note of the forthcoming Federal Elections and called upon all stakeholders in Somalia to prioritize the interests of the Somali people by reaching an amicable consensus on the conduct of the upcoming elections;

Encouraged by the progress the Somali Federal Government has made towards achieving universal suffrage (one-person-one-vote) and encouraged all parties to participate in this historical process for Somalia;

Welcomed the efforts of the Federal Government of Somalia to hold inclusive dialogue with its Federal Member States towards finding common ground, the attainment of a comprehensive peace and national unity;

Appreciated AMISOM, troop-contributing countries and the Somali National Army; for the risks they take and the sacrifices they continue to make to prevail over terrorist organisations and organized criminal groups in the strategic areas of operations, noting that the Somali National Army is taking over security responsibilities and taking a leading role in keeping the citizens and residents of Somalia safe;

Thanked the International Partners for their support to the peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction process in Somalia.

On Wider Peace and Security Dynamics in the IGAD region,

Expressed Concern over the ongoing dispute over the use of the Nile waters and gave its full backing to the efforts of the African Union to arrive at a workable African solution for this African problem.

On the UNSC Non-Permanent Member Elections,

Congratulated the Republic of Kenya on its election to a non- Permanent Seat in the United Nations Security Council for the period 2021-2022;

Commended the Republic of Djibouti and the Republic of Kenya for maturely conducting their campaigns for the UNSC non-Permanent Seat and for closing ranks immediately after the elections in a brotherly spirit;

Welcomed the reaffirmation by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta that during its tenure as a non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, Kenya will advance the aspirations of every IGAD Member State and seek to galvanize international support for regional peace and stability for sustainable development and shared prosperity;

Pledged to provide all necessary support to the Republic of Kenya as it advances regional peace and security agenda at the United Nations Security Council.

And,

Decided to remain actively seized of these matters.

Done on 14 July 2020.

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