Kampala (diplomat.so) - Somali President Dr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived in Kampala, Uganda on Wednesday evening, setting the stage for the 42nd Extraordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Assembly of Heads of State and Government, scheduled for January 18.
The IGAD summit holds significant importance as leaders from member states gather to address pressing regional issues, including the strained relations between Somalia and Ethiopia and the ongoing conflict in Sudan.
Notably, Ethiopia has raised concerns about its ability to attend the summit. On January 13, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia dispatched a note verbale to Djibouti, the chair of IGAD, expressing difficulty in participating. The Ethiopian government cited a prior engagement that coincides with the summit and raised objections to the short notice provided for the extraordinary session.
The root of Ethiopia's absence lies in a recently signed agreement with the Somaliland Administration, a northwestern region of Somalia that considers itself an independent entity but is recognized as an integral part of Somalia by the Somali government. Ethiopia's engagement with Somaliland has sparked controversy, leading to strained relations between Ethiopia and Somalia.
As leaders gather in Kampala, the international community closely watches the developments at the IGAD summit, hoping for constructive discussions that will contribute to regional stability and cooperation.