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A call for sustainable peace in the IGAD Region

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1.    At the initiative of the African Union (AU), and within the framework of the Year of Peace and Security (YoPS) in Africa, IGAD has organized a peace conference on “Challenges and Prospects of Peace and Security in the Region” held in Nairobi Kenya form 25 -27 November, 2010. The reflection session aimed at giving further drive to efforts to bring to an end the scourge of armed conflicts and political crises in the Region. The Conference was attended by representatives of six member countries namely Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. It was also attended by scholars invited from the Region, Representative of the African Union, Conflict Early Warning Units /CEWERU/ heads of member countries, IGAD specialized offices and staff of IGAD Secretariat. Development partners of IGAD were also represented at the opening through their respective Embassies in Nairobi.


2.    The three days conference was energized by the initiatives to make peace happen in Africa in general, and peace and stability in the IGAD region in particular. We were also motivated by the initiatives and the pledge made in Tripoli, Libya on 31 August 2009, when the year 2010 was declared the African Year of Peace.

3.    We acknowledge and appreciate the important gains made over the recent years towards peace and security in the region. But we believe any progress made in this regard should be enhanced to deal with emerging security concerns threatening peace and stability in the Region.

4.    From our reflections on the basis of papers presented to us , we note with deep concern challenges related to governance and the immediate threats posed by terrorism, drug trafficking, illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons, piracy and other associated scourges and the  long‐term challenges arising from these threats  and enduring poverty and instability in the Region.

5.     In the course of our deliberations, we devoted attention to the roles that can be played by women, the CSOs, and the media in terms of conflict prevention and resolution and peace‐building. We also reflected on the experiences of IGAD countries in conflict prevention and resolution, lessons learned from past experiences such as the peace processes in Somalia and Sudan, the importance of harnessing indigenous knowledge for conflict prevention and resolution and also of institutionalizing mediation efforts in the Region, and the intended contribution of the RECs to the implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). Finally, we deliberated on the need for collaborative approaches to address peace and security threats in the Region.

At the end, we, participants of this deliberation,

Express our sincere gratitude to the Government of Kenya for hosting this important conference and hospitality and all the facilities provided for the successful convening of the meeting. We also appreciate IGAD Secretariat for organizing this event.

We would also like to suggest the following for IGAD to further enhance its engagement in peace and security issues.

1.    Bearing in mind that the achievement of lasting peace on the continent requires closer coordination and consultation at all levels, we encourage IGAD to organize such events which could create common understanding of the peace and security issues in the region and create space for joint reflections;

2.    Consider creating regular fora of the stakeholders that includes the policy makers, the academia, CSOs, Media, practitioners in the area of peace and security, and experienced individuals’ hands on mediation efforts in the region for further reflections and exchange of views on common concerns;

3.    Collaborate with other institutions in the region and beyond dealing with peace and security issues ;

4.    Establish Mediation Support Unit and roster of mediators both track I and track II  and make necessary efforts to institutionalize and professionalize mediation in the IGAD Region;

5.     IGAD to work hand-in-hand with the Nile Basin Initiative(NBI) in order to deal with conflicts arising from shared resources;

6.     Remain engaged with the peace processes in Sudan and Somalia and take stock of the peace processes particularly in Somalia with the view of drawing lessons from repeated efforts and challenges in order to inform existing processes with renewed vigor;

7.     IGAD to Step up its  efforts to have Eritrea back to the institution;

8.    IGAD and the AU to further harmonize activities related to peace and Security;

9.    IGAD to further reflect on collaborative mechanism to promote regional approaches for conflict prevention and resolution;

10.     Promote  the role of Women  in  conflict prevention and peace building processes;

11.     IGAG to promote and make efforts towards inclusions of peace and conflict studies in school curricula’s of IGAD Member countries; and finally,

12.     Document and promote traditional/indigenous conflict resolution systems in the Region.

Dated  November 29th ,2010
Nairobi,Kenya