Monday, Dec 16, 2019

15 July 2019 (Juba, South Sudan): The IGAD’s Mediation Support Unit (MSU) has organized the 4th High Level Retreat for IGAD mediators in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan to discuss the significance of dialogue and mediation in post-agreement phases as a constructive tool for conflict resolution and strengthening of dialogue and mediation initiatives.

While delivering his Opening Remarks, the Peace and Security Director, Hon Siraj Fegessa mentioned that within the region, IGAD has played a vital role in many regional developments, key among hem mediation interventions which have brought renewed efforts and security towards sustainable peace and development.

“It is evident that peace processes can be achieved though dialogue and negation as an apparatus to resolve conflicts and bring sustainable peace. The mediators must continue to dialogue to achieve reconciliation” Hon Fegessa  added.

On behalf of IGAD Chair and Federal Government of Ethiopia Amb Dr. Koang Tutlam also emphasized that mediators in the IGAD Sub-region must continue supporting to see through implementation of agreements signed by parties because this is the only alternative for peace and stability to prevail in the sub-region.

The retreat was officially opened by the Guest of Honor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, who added that continuous dialogue is not only important but should be coupled with logistical facilitation.

“The necessity for any mediation process to sustain engagement with the parties for any mediation to sustain engagement with the parties during the post engagement with the parties during the post agreement signature phase can not be overemphasized but it not enough, it must be coupled with the necessary logistical facilitation” Hon Nhial added.

Mediation continues to be widely recognized as one of the most effective means for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in terms of cost, time and results.

During the 3-day meeting, mediators will explore the role of the dialogue and mediation support in enabling transformative and sustainable change following comprehensive peace agreements; share experiences and knowledge in the post agreement phase; as well as discuss mechanisms for deepening mediation knowledge and practice within communities in South Sudan and all other Member States of IGAD in order to prevent relapses into conflict after the signing of peace agreements.

MSU envisions that at the completion of the retreat, IGAD mediators’ capacities in mediation and dialogue will be strengthened and those in peace agreements will be able to sustain, support and implement peace agreements through a carefully planned and well-coordinated follow-up systems as well as be able to oversee gaps in implementation where need be to resolve emerging challenges.

The High-level retreat is being attended by the IGAD Roster of Mediators, Members of the AU Panel of the Wise, religious leaders, mediation experts from the region as well youth representatives and members from the Young Women in Mediation Network.

The Kingdom of Denmark provided the funding to retreat, and it is jointly facilitated by IGAD MSU and the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD).

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10 July 2019, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: The Peace and Security Division (PSD) under the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in collaboration with Interpeace, an international peace building organization are holding a 3-day workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to explore ways through which they can collaborate in constitution and reform making processes to support durable peace in post conflict contexts.

The technical workshop will also deliberate on the guiding principles, tasks and institutions involved with making a new constitution as well discuss opportunities and pitfalls of international constitutional assistance efforts and how IGAD can provide support to its Member States in constitution making processes.

During the opening session the Monitoring and Evaluation Expert, Mr Bruck Yohannes representing the Peace and Security Director welcomed the initiation and stated that IGAD is mandated to support member states in their effort to promote good governance, peace, security and stability in the region.

“Through a roadmap and way forward for the two organisations we will be able to guide, enhance our existing capacities in constitution making in order for our Member States to acquire, learn and through our guidance be able to implement principles in an inclusive, nationally owned, participatory and transparent constitutions for the benefit of our people in the region” Mr. Yohannes added.

Mr. Hassan Ismail, the Interpeace Kenya Country Representative and Liaison for IGAD/AU Relations reiterated that through tailor made approaches to develop peace building programmes that are locally driven and owned help establish processes of change by connecting communities, civil society, governments and international community have bigger chances of success in build lasting peace in the IGAD region.

“From experience Interppeace takes note that peace cannot be imported from the outside therefore must be built by and from within the Member States of IGAD through their different stakeholders” Mr. Ismail emphasized.

A draft roadmap will be drawn at the conclusion the meeting for Interpeace to provide support to IGAD in the identified capacity gaps that will later be presented to the policy organs of IGAD.

The MoU signed in 2017 in Nairobi between the two organizations was to regulate, encourage and foster a relationship of cooperation on peace building and conflict resilience. Starting with the Mandera Triangle (a geographical area where Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia meet) and leverage on each other’s institutional mandates and capacities.

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June 25, 2019 - (Addis Ababa) Ethiopia –A multi thematic programme under IGAD Promoting Peace and Stability in the Horn of Africa Region – (IPPSHAR) being implemented by the IGAD Peace and Security Division (PSD) held its 2nd Steering Committee meeting on June 25, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to update the committee on progress made on the implementation of activities under IPPSHAR.

The meeting was chaired by the IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim and was co-chaired by the Austrian Ambassador to Ethiopia H.E Amb. Roland Hauser.

In Amb Maalim welcoming remarks he commended the IGAD Peace and Security Division and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) for the progress made in the implementation of activities across the IGAD region since the first Steering Committee meeting of February 2019.

In his overall briefing on peace and security issues the Executive Secretary said, “ Some of our Member States have internal challenges hence some activities may be at a slower rate of implementation but IGAD is committed to continuing to engage with the member states so that peace may prevail, harnessing a ground for their citizens to benefit from IPPSHAR”.

The IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan also updated the Committee on the implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan.  Amb Ismail Wais, highlighted positive and relative peace returning to the nation as well as the challenges hindering the process.

The Head of EU Delegation to the African Union, H.E Ambassador Ranieri Sabatucci as well as Ambassador Roland Hauser reassured IGAD of their continuous support to its activities under IPPSHAR to be effectively implemented.

Ambassador Sabatucci further expressed his views on how to make use of the steering Committee to accommodate urgent needs in the region since there is flexibility in the program and since ways should be explored for the program to support the on-going peace processes.

BACKGROUND

The IPPSHAR programme is mainly financed by the EU under the Emergency Trust Fund, and co-financed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Government of the Netherlands. The IPPSHAR Steering Committee is composed of IGAD, represented by the Executive Secretary and funding partners such as the  European Union Delegation to the African Union, Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Government of the Netherlands, who are represented at Ambassadorial level.

 

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June 24,2019 - (Addis Ababa) Ethiopia – The Peace and Security Coordination Group met on June 24, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to review the Peace and Security Division 2019 budget and work plan under the co-chairmanship of IGAD represented by the Executive Secretary, H.E Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim and Denmark represented by Mr.Jonas HelthLonborg, Counsellor, Regional Affairs at the Royal Danish Embassy in Ethiopia.

The opening remarks were made by the Peace and Security Director Hon Siraj Fegessa who highlighted IGAD’s gratitude to the partners for the continuous support and guidance towards the implementation of the Peace and Security Division programmes and activities as detailed in the peace and security strategy.

Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, on his part, reiterated by saying giving the partners an overview of the stake of IGAD regional affairs, new developments as well as their implications calling upon the partners to work with IGAD for it to be at the fore front to diplomatically work through the existing, emerging and potential challenges for the benefit of the IGAD citizens.

With the regard to the challenges, he said, “Many times when we are faced with challenges, we need to look at them with a positive eye and see them as opportunities for us to do better, learn from best practices and be able to handle each situation uniquely and collectively.”

The Coordination Group also made a decision to meet twice a year; June and December to give IGAD an opportunity to provide updates on implementation of activities and work plan in time for the next reporting period and annual planning.

The Coordination Group was set up a few years back to institutionalize effective policy and technical dialogue and coordination between IGAD and Development Partners on priorities for promoting and sustaining peace and security in the IGAD region in general and the implementation of Peace and Security Strategy, in particular.

The membership of the Coordination Group is composed of representatives of IGAD from peace and security related offices and partners that contribute to the programs.

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June 26,20119 (Mombasa, Kenya): The IGAD Mediation Support Unit in conjunction with the IGAD Gender Program and in collaboration with the African Centre for the Constructive resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), this morning kick-started a Gender Responsive training workshop for the IGAD Roster of Mediators.

The objective of the training workshop is to sensitize the roster members and experts on gender issues and concerns during mediation and peace building processes. Since the establishment of the Roster in 2014, the members have been engaged in various peace processes, including the South Sudan peace talks.

It is recalled that one-third of the mediators are women, which is in conformity with the requirements of the UNSCR 1325. Moreover, it was observed that the IGAD roster should continue to have experienced women who have supported peace processes as well as include those who have engaged in conflict prevention. Additionally, the roster members should have considerable knowledge and level of understanding of gender issues, roles of women in peace processes, and in particular in mediation and negotiations of peace agreements.

This workshop is conducted with the financial support of the IPPSHAR Programme of the European Union, managed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).  

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