The Heads of State and Government of IGAD Member States convened a consultative meeting in Addis Ababa on 1st February 2008 on the sidelines of the 10th Assembly of the African Union to discuss the prevailing situation in the Region.
The Heads of State and Government received a brief from His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki on the political developments and the violence that erupted in Kenya following the General Election as well as the ongoing negotiations between the Government and the Opposition party, chaired by H.E Kofi Annan.
Following exchange of views, the Heads of State and Government decided to send, as a matter of urgency, an IGAD Ministerial Delegation to express the region’s solidarity and support with the Kenyan people as the latter passes through a very difficult and unprecedented time in the history of Kenya.
Pursuant to the decision of the summit, an IGAD Ministerial Delegation led by H.E Seyoum Mesfin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, arrived in Nairobi on 7th February 2008 and held a meeting with H.E Koffi Annan, the opposition party leader Hon. Raila Odinga and Hon. Moses Wetang’ula, the Kenyan Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The delegation also paid a courtesy call to H.E President Mwai Kibaki in the State House.
During their meetings, the IGAD delegation underlined that the objective of its mission was to express solidarity and bring good wishes from the people of the region to the brotherly people of Kenya.
It was emphasized that the IGAD mission was not a parallel initiative but one that was intended to reinforce the mediation effort by H.E. Kofi Annan. The delegation in this respect reiterated the full support and backing of the region to the African Union (AU) mediation talks chaired by H.E Kofi Annan.
The delegation informed that the people and Governments of the region are at pain to witness the hardship that has fallen upon Kenya, a country that has always been an island of peace and stability in the region.
The delegation reiterated the importance of the immediate cessation of violence and the urgent need to create favourable conditions to pursue sustained dialogue aimed at reaching an amicable solution to the problem. The delegation further emphasized that the constitutional and the legal avenues available to redress political issues should be upheld and Expressed optimism, saying that they were encouraged by the efforts being expended to bring the country back to normalcy .
The delegation concluded its mission by giving a Press Interview in which the leader of the delegation briefed the media on the positive outcome of the mission. The delegation concluded on a positive note that the region continues to stand together to render any assistance required to help promote the mediation.
The mission wished the people of Kenya well.