EU/Horn of Africa

EU-IGAD POLITICAL DIALOGUE MEETING — The Fourth Min­is­te­r­i­al Meet­ing between the Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Author­i­ty on Devel­op­ment (IGAD) and the Euro­pean Union (EU) was held in Brus­sels on 23 March 2010. For­mal­ly called “Min­is­te­r­i­al Troi­ka”, the meet­ing, under the Lis­bon Treaty, took the name of the Polit­i­cal Dia­logue Meet­ing (PDM).

The PDM was co-chaired by His Excel­len­cy Dr. Teke­da Ale­mu, Min­is­ter of State for For­eign Affairs of the Fed­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Ethiopia, Chair­per­son of the IGAD Coun­cil of Min­is­ters, and H. E. Mr. Angel Los­sa­da, State Sec­re­tary for For­eign Affairs of the King­dom of Spain co-chair­ing the meet­ing on behalf of the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive H.E. Ms. Cather­ine Ash­ton.

The EU del­e­ga­tion includ­ed Ste­fano Manservisi, Direc­tor Gen­er­al for Devel­op­ment Aid. The IGAD Troi­ka also includ­ed the Exec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of IGAD, His Excel­len­cy Mah­boub M. Maal­im, His Excel­len­cy Mr. Najeib El Wahab, Ambas­sador of Sudan to Bel­gium and His Excel­len­cy Mr. James Kem­bi-Gitu­ra, Ambas­sador of Kenya to Bel­gium. The two par­ties dis­cussed the sit­u­a­tion in the Horn of Africa, includ­ing Sudan, Soma­lia and the Gulf of Aden. They also dis­cussed IGAD’s revi­tal­iza­tion and reform process and region­al inte­gra­tion in the Horn of Africa.

The EU under­lined IGAD’s strate­gic role in region­al inte­gra­tion, peace and sta­bil­i­ty in the Horn. IGAD wel­comed EU’s stepped up engage­ment in the Horn of Africa, as agreed in the For­eign Affairs Coun­cil on 8 Decem­ber 2009.

The EU wel­comed renewed efforts by IGAD to enhance the capac­i­ty of its Sec­re­tari­at at the recent IGAD Coun­cil on 7–8 Decem­ber 2009. It point­ed out that more could be done in the region to coop­er­ate on com­mon infra­struc­ture region­al invest­ments under the Horn of Africa Ini­tia­tive.

The two par­ties stressed the sig­nif­i­cance of the Agree­ment between the TFG and Ahlus Sun­nah wal Jamaah signed in Addis Aba­ba on 15 March 2010 and empha­sized the need to scale-up sup­port for the ini­tia­tive and encour­age the sig­na­to­ries to ensure speedy and effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion. The two sides also encour­aged the TFG to con­tin­ue fol­low­ing a pol­i­cy of inclu­siv­i­ty with a view to acco­mo­dat­ing all those in Soma­lia who are com­mit­ted to peace and nation­al rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and ready to work with­in the frame­work of the Dji­bouti accord. The EU wel­comed IGAD’s polit­i­cal engage­ment in Soma­lia and IGAD expressed its appre­ci­a­tion for EU’s sup­port to the train­ing of the Soma­li secu­ri­ty sec­tor as part of a com­pre­hen­sive approach that links polit­i­cal, secu­ri­ty and devel­op­ment engage­ment.

On Sudan, both sides stressed the urgency to address the chal­lenges in the imple­men­ta­tion of the Com­pre­hen­sive Peace Agree­ment (CPA). They acknowl­edged the impor­tance of IGAD´s role in the full imple­men­ta­tion of the CPA and the impor­tance of a coher­ent and coor­di­nat­ed approach of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty and the region­al actors in sup­port of the cur­rent process. In this con­text, the EU wel­comed in par­tic­u­lar the recent deci­sions tak­en by the Heads of State and Gov­ern­ment of IGAD to remain active­ly engaged in line with AU’s over­all approach towards the Sudan, both with respect to Dar­fur and the imple­men­ta­tion of the CPA.

Cog­nizant of the crit­i­cal devel­op­ments that are slat­ed to take place in the Horn of Africa in the year 2010 and the first few months of 2011 the EU and IGAD under­lined the crit­i­cal impor­tance of enhanc­ing close con­sul­ta­tion and coop­er­a­tion on mat­ters relat­ed to peace and sta­bil­i­ty in the region.

Euro­pean Coun­cil