The meetings come in light of worsening economic and security crises in a number of countries. Where Somalia is witnessing major security disturbances due to the continuation of terrorist attacks; Meanwhile, the political situation in Sudan is worsening in light of the lack of clarity of vision regarding the future of the current transitional period. On the other hand, Ethiopia is suffering from the repercussions of the recent war in the Tigray region. Meanwhile, Kenya is grappling with the worst drought in its history.
Ali Al-Sadiq, the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the meeting will discuss the response to climate change, the wave of drought and the specter of famine in the region, achieving food security, economic cooperation, regional integration and social development. establishing the Economic Community of the Horn of Africa and maximizing the benefits of the Horn of Africa and China’s initiatives with regard to infrastructure development; Enhancing the role of youth and empowering women.
■ IGAD, in its current form, was established in 1996; Since 1980, it has been working as a joint body to combat drought and desertification in the Horn of Africa.
■ The founding countries of IGAD include Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti and Somalia.
■ The organization does not have any tools to enforce regional agreements or even punish member states.
■ The region suffers from the spread of transnational crimes such as terrorism and organized crime, drought and weak economic development.
What do observers say?
■ Former Foreign Minister Ibrahim Taha Ayoub rules out that the organization has sufficient capacity or even desire to reach high levels of understanding among its member states.
Ayoub points out that the IGAD region is one of the least developed regions in the world, as many of its countries suffer from major political, economic, social and security problems. “The region suffers from economic underdevelopment and problems of civil wars in many of its countries, and separatist groups and those prone to terrorism are active in many of them,” he told Sky News Arabia. Ayoub notes that the countries in the region are considered the most receiving refugees and exporting them at the same time.
He added, “Amidst these tragedies and problems that the peoples of the region suffer from, there are sharp differences between a number of member countries.”
■ Kasga Abuli, Professor of International Relations at McEnery University in Uganda, considers security and development issues to be the most important challenges facing the member countries of the group. However, he points out that the organization does not have effective executive mechanisms to help it solve the crises facing member countries.
Abuli told Sky News Arabia that there is an urgent need for action and cooperation to put an end to the state of security and economic instability that has been haunting most countries in the region, especially Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.
■ For the Ethiopian political analyst, Noureddine Abda, the IGAD group does not have the necessary mechanisms to implement any decisions that may come out of its presidential or ministerial meetings, so it has not had a tangible impact since its establishment in resolving any of the many crises witnessed by the member countries during the past years.
Abda explains to Sky News Arabia that the organization focuses more on frameworks for cooperation or limited coordination, which does not contribute much to resolving the crises of member countries.
Abda agrees with what Abuli said about the challenges facing member countries, pointing to the close link between security and development. “The ongoing security problems in a number of OIC countries stand in the way of achieving economic and social development,” he added.
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