Sunday, Jan 17, 2021

4, December 2020, (Khartoum, Sudan):  Representatives of the governments of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan agreed this week on a roadmap which will outline the next steps toward medium to long-term solutions for seven million forcibly displaced persons originating from and hosted by the two countries. The strategies also include returnees and host populations.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), currently chaired by Sudan, UNHCR, the Refugee Agency and partners, welcomed the conclusions of this first technical -level meeting, building on the unprecedented opportunity to find lasting solutions for displaced persons from the two countries.

“It is a historic moment, for the two governments to come together in search for solutions for their populations” noted Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa. ‘We have recently seen impressive developments towards solutions. We have a practical and cordial working relationship between the two governments. We have a roadmap. Now we must work together to show the world that to invest in this process is to light a candle for enduring peace, sustainable return and a hopeful future for the people of South Sudan and Sudan.’

The representatives from Sudan and South Sudan highlighted that the uniqueness of the joint initiative on solutions to displacement stems from the complementarity of the two comprehensive peace agreements, including the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement concluded on 3 October 2020, and the continued efforts in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed on 12 September 2018. The governments stressed the need to anchor the initiative within their respective peace deals, which, critically, provide for solutions for refugees, IDPs and returnees.

In the spirit of the peace process, the governments agreed to “a people centered approach,” prioritizing the rehabilitation and recovery needs of Sudan’s and South Sudan’s displaced peoples. They agreed that both governments should work to create conditions conducive for voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return while simultaneously working to implement innovative solutions which enhance the quality for asylum for refugees of the two countries.

Ms. Fathia Alwan, the IGAD Director for Health and Social Development noted that the inception workshop was a start of multi-year journey as durable solutions are long-term endeavors that requires concerted efforts by all parties and acknowledged the support of the core group members including the European Union, Germany, the World Bank, GIZ and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She highlighted that the IGAD Support Platform will be the ideal vehicle to advance the solution strategies for the Sudan and South Sudan displacement situations.

Building on the good practices of the Nairobi Process, and the commitments made at the Global Refugee Forum a year ago, the meeting concluded with an outline of the next steps in the roadmap. This includes national consultations to develop solutions strategies in the respective countries to culminate in a joint comprehensive plan of action. The comprehensive plan will subsequently be endorsed during an IGAD

Heads of State Special Summit planned for the first quarter of 2021, aimed at seeking agreement on the early recovery and longer-term peacebuilding and resilience needs of both Sudan and South Sudan.

Both the Sudan and South Sudan delegations emphasized the need to include refugee and IDP voices at all stages of the solutions initiative to ensure the meaningful role conflict-affected communities have in peace efforts. 

Mr Hans Stausboll, the EU Head of Unit for East and Horn of Africa welcomed the conclusions of the meeting and reiterated EU’s commitment to support the initiative.

UNHCR committed to supporting the respective governments in their efforts to create the conditions on the ground that will permit safe and sustainable return and integration, and called for a scaling up of development support in areas of potential refugee and IDP return.

The first inception meeting was organised by IGAD in coordination with UNHCR and with the support of the European Union, the World Bank, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), GIZ and UNDP.

For more information:

IGAD: Mahamed Abdillahi | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UNHCR Sudan: Corina Iovescu | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UNHCR South Sudan: Aoife McDonnell | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

7 November 2020 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development IGAD expresses its concern on the recent development in Ethiopia, specifically the situation in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia which IGAD is following closely.

IGAD calls the Government of Ethiopia and concerned parties to show restraint, work on de-escalating the tensions and resolve their differences through dialogue and reconciliation.

IGAD and the world community are counting on the perspicacity and wisdom of the Government of Ethiopia and concerned parties to come together and make a final peaceful solution.

IGAD believes that Ethiopia has been a beacon of stability and economic development in the region and a pillar for peace and Security. Finally, IGAD is looking forward to a return of normalcy of the Country soon and will keep on following the development.

 

 

16 October 2020 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is deeply concerned over the environmental risk posed to the Red Sea region by the FSO SAFER, an aging oil tanker moored off the western coast of Yemen and left without maintenance since early 2015.

The IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, notes that the possible oil spill from the dilapidated tanker would occasion massive environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea which supports millions of livelihoods.

Furthermore, a spill would exacerbate existing economic and humanitarian crises in Yemen and the region, including IGAD Member States on the Western shores of the Red Sea.

In this regard, the Executive Secretary calls on the international community to “take urgent steps to stabilise the oil tanker, particularly through undertaking urgent repairs, and thereafter offload the oil it carries”.

He also calls for independent technical experts to be granted unhindered access to the tanker by those who control the vessel.

“The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) welcomes the UN efforts to deploy an assessment and repair team to the tanker and commend the UN Secretary General’s personal attention and leadership in this matter”, Dr Workneh added.

“IGAD will remain seized of this matter with a view to urgently neutralizing the threats posed by FSO SAFER, in coordination with its international partners”, he concluded.

 

 

03-10-2020 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) hails the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Republic of Sudan and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) held yesterday in Juba, South Sudan. Full statement here attached.

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