Igad urges dialogue to end Ethiopia-Somalia row

Friday January 19 2024

Leaders pose for 'family photo' during the 42nd Extraordinary Assembly of Igad Heads of State in Uganda on January 18, 2024. From left: African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki, Igad Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu, and Presidents William Ruto of Kenya, Djibouti's Ismail Omar Guelleh, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Somalia's Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. PHOTO | PCS


Leaders of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) have called for a de-escalation of tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia.

The meeting, chaired by Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti and Chairman of the Igad Heads of State and Government, reviewed the evolving situation in Sudan and the diplomatic row between Ethiopia and Somalia.

The meeting was attended by presidents William Ruto of Kenya, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

The leader of Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Daglo aka Hemedti, and representatives of key international actors including the African Union, the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the European Union and the United States, were also present.

Read: AU urges restraint over Ethiopia-Somaliland deal

In a statement issued on Thursday from the 42nd Extraordinary Assembly of Igad Heads of State in Uganda, the presidents urged the two nations to engage in constructive dialogue.


“We are deeply concerned by the recent developments regarding the relationship between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Federal Republic of Somalia and we call on Ethiopia and Somalia to de-escalate tensions and instead engage in a constructive dialogue,” the statement said.

The Assembly reiterated its unwavering commitment to the principles of respect for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

Read: Somalia: No talks unless Ethiopia retracts deal

The leaders stressed that any diplomatic engagement must be in accordance with these cardinal principles and that any agreement or arrangement must have the express consent of Somalia.

Tensions have risen after landlocked Ethiopia signed an agreement with breakaway Somaliland on January 1 to give it access to the Rea Sea. In return, Somaliland expects Ethiopia to soon recognise the region as an independent state, angering Somalia.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, a move not recognised by Mogadishu or the international community.