Over the weekend of Feb.8-9, Museveni and Kagame were in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for an African Union summit themed ‘Silencing the Guns: Creating Conditions for Africa’s Development’. The meeting was aimed at achieving a conflict-free Africa.
On the sidelines of the AU summit, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held its 34th Extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government under the chairmanship of Abdalla Hamdok, the Prime Minister of Sudan.
Top on the agenda of the IGAD meet was the peace process in South Sudan whose failure to form a unity government vexes EAC leaders. The conflict that erupted in 2013 has claimed an estimated 500, 000 lives and displaced over two million people creating a refugee crisis in the EAC region.
Museveni and South Sudan President Salva Kiir attended the summit and a communique from IGAD noted in passing the progress made in the implementation of tasks during the 100-day extension period to form a government of national unity in South Sudan. The extension was made in November. IGAD also took note of the fast approaching deadline for leaders of South Sudan to form a unity government.
The IGAD meeting also attended by the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed noted that “further extension is neither desirable nor feasible at this stage of this peace process.” Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Djibouti; Raychelle Omamo, Kenya’s secretary for foreign affairs and Hirut Zememe, Ethiopia’s state minister for the Federal Republic of Ethiopia also attended.
By the time the EAC summit happens, IGAD expects the leaders of South Sudan; Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, former vice president and leader of opposition, to have formed a government of unity which is by Feb. 22. IGAD comprises Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.