US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to meet with leaders of regional bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) as part of his efforts to press for peace in the Horn of Africa.
Blinken touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Wednesday morning (1.20am EAT) to a full in-tray of activities that will include a meeting President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House and later a strategic dialogue meeting with his counterpart, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.
Blinken had already indicated he will discuss regional peace and security, climate change, and issues of democracy and human rights during his Africa trip. He is also scheduled to visit Nigeria and Senegal.
But it is in Ethiopia where he has focussed his attention the most.
After a year of conflict in Tigray region, leaders have been calling for dialogue and a peaceful solution without success.
IGAD is also facing another problem with current Chair Sudan experiencing internal turmoil. The bloc is currently led by Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu, an Ethiopian diplomat and former Foreign Minister. Other members of IGAD include Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti.