Leaders of Member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are gathered in Djobouti for the 38th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
According to an official communiqué, this meeting was called to discuss ongoing regional peace and security initiatives.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, President of Djibouti Omar Guelleh , the Prime Minister of Sudan Abdalla Hamdok, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu IGAD Executive Secretary,Chairperson of the African Union Commission, President of Federal Republic of Somalia H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, the Vice President of South Sudan De Mabior.
The IGAD summit comes at a time Ethiopia has witnessed an ugly war with itself causing massive devastation, massacres and eventual displacement of its own people to neighbouring countries.
The crisis begun in November after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in a semi-autonomous Tigray region attacked an Ethiopian military base.
The attack was responded by Ethiopia’s prime minister ordering the army to attack the capital of the Tigray region after a 72-hour ultimatum for the region’s ruling party to surrender expired.
Ahmed also issued a six-month state of emergency in early November, with the government stating that the actions in the region were “threatening the country’s sovereignty”.
Since then, the region has been cut off and some 41,000 refugees including 18,000 children have escaped to Sudan, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The federal and Tigray governments, once allies in Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, now regard each other as illegal, the result of Abiy’s political reforms after taking office in 2018 that left the once-dominant TPLF feeling marginalized and targeted.