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IGAD governance forum to promote political pluralism and tolerance among members

Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr Workneh Gebeyehu chats with youths at the meeting in Entebbe. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has launched a governance forum aimed at promoting tolerance and political pluralism in states and among member states.

The forum launched on Friday at Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel in Entebbe called on member states to promote tolerance, political pluralism, incisiveness and non-discrimination in a turbulent region. The IGAD states include; Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia

The forum will also among other things promote checks and balance with separation of powers, encourage fair and equitable distribution of resources, condemnation of acts of corruption and integrity and transparency in managing public affairs.

The forum also encourages countries to hold regular free and fair elections, and total rejection of unconstitutional change of government.

According to Siraj Fegessa, the IGAD Peace and Security Division Director, the forum will serve as the main dialogue of IGAD members in all governance matters.

He says that many of the IGAD countries are currently struggling with issues of democracy, corruption, good governance and human rights issues which this forum will engage in.

Siraj adds that several member states are engaged in conflict between them and within themselves, and they hope that dialogue between the states with different experiences can be building.

Simon Lokodo, the Minister of Ethics and Integrity says there is need for good governance to ensure that states enjoy liberty and comfort of being led to the right direction. He says that there are several challenges in the region and good governance is the key to stopping all conflicts.

Magdi Ahmed from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, the current chair of IGAD says that bad governance has driven several IGAD citizens out of the region into the risky Mediterranean sea enroute to Europe, and this should be looked into as they are a threat to the future.

The forum will be composed of the Executive Secretary of IGAD, IGAD Peace and Security Director, IGAD’s Political Affairs Programme, IGAD Inter-Parliamentary Union, Institution Member states working in the promotion of good governance, democracy rule of law, Judiciary among others.

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