Saturday, Nov 27, 2021

7 OCTOBER 2021 (Adama, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Peace and Security Division concluded three days regional experience sharing workshop on Post conflict Peace Building. The objective of the workshop was to share experiences among member states on post conflict peace building and update the IGAD Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) Policy Framework. Senior Officials and Experts from member States’ peace and security related institutions, AUC representative and officers from IGAD Peace and Security programs presented in the experience sharing workshop.

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September 14, 2021 (Adama, Ethiopia): The Peace and Security Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) kick started four days Bi-annual Review Meeting with the objective to facilitate internal consultative process and reflections both on programs and processes aimed at strengthening mechanisms and practices towards successful implementation.

Hon. Siraj Fegessa, director of IGAD Peace and Security Division (PSD), in his opening remarks highlighted that the review meeting is crucial in assessing the performance of the ongoing implementation the 2021 Peace and security Division Plan. It will also be a platform to identify best practices and challenges during the implementation.

The main agenda of the meeting is to review the mid-year report and performance, presentation of the new IGAD Strategy (2021-2025), reflection on post-IPPSHAR period and exchange of views on the regional peace and security issues.

The new IGAD strategy for the period 2021-2025 has been finalized including the peace and security strategic objectives. The peace and Security team also carried out intense reflections on the development of the new peace and security strategy.

The Workshop Review Meeting is funded by the European Union through the IPPSHAR Programme.



September 6, 2021 (GAROWE, Somalia): The Strategic Thinking for Somali Women Workshop in Garowe under the Mediation Support Unit (MSU) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) kicked off.

The participants of the three-day workshop were from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Ministry of Women Human Rights Development of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Member of Parliament of Puntland, CSO Representatives from South West, Galmudug, Jubaland, and Puntland Regional States, Women Group of Hirshabele, Action Peace for Human Development Organization, and the Somali Women Journalists Organization.

Officially, the Head of Mission to the Republic of South Sudan, Dr Aleu Garang, opened the meeting with the following remarks. “This workshop comes as the second in the series of training after the basic training for Somali women in Juba, South Sudan. We are happy how enthusiastic Somali women were when conducting the basic training on Capacity Building, Peace Building and Mediation. Today your commitment to be in this room and to turn out in numbers with this diversity indicates how serious you take this important training. We would like to see this platform as an opportunity for women to advocate for further representation in decision making, conflict prevention, and more representation in governance. On behalf of H.E the IGAD Executive Secretary, and on my own behalf, I welcome you and thank you very much for attending this workshop, and I declare it open.”

The workshop’s agenda comprised of:

  • Introduction and definition of Negotiation and Mediation;
  • Introduction and key concepts in Peace and Conflict Studies (Peace-making, Peace-keeping Peace-enforcement and Peacebuilding);
  • Conflict triggers, Conflict Analysis, Conflict Mapping focusing on actors and their interrelationships;
  • Conflict Resolution;
  • Developing a strategy for women in conflict areas through a joint action plan; and
  • SWOT analysis on the women in Peace Building.

Participants engaged with enthusiasm during the workshop through:

  • Active participation in asking and answering questions;
  • Panel discussion on The Role of Women in Peace & Conflict Prevention;
  • Facilitated discussion on the roles of the different implementation mechanisms, the best practices/successes and way forward.

The workshop aims at pushing the Women Peace and Security Agenda and in the end Strategic Planning and Developing an Action Plan and Roadmap towards Implementation of the Strategy for Women in Somalia.



The maritime domain and marine environments form a major component of the IGAD region and they represent a significant economic and social driver. More than 60% of the external borders of the region are coastal/waterside related, and a huge proportion of the population directly depends on the marine domain to make a living.

In fact, a considerable portion of the IGAD region internal and external trade is transported by sea. Besides that, the Seas and Oceans bordering the shores of the IGAD Member States are one of the most strategic maritime zones of the world. The Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden (GoA) and the Western rim of the Indian Ocean are crossed by the most important maritime corridors for seaborne trade transiting through the Suez Canal. The Gulf of Aden hosts a critical global maritime route which encompasses the Suez Canal on one hand, and the Bab El Mandeb which is a global shipping natural “choke point” on the other.

The IGAD Security Sector Programme (IGAD SSP) Maritime Security Pillar was set up in May 2013 and is currently based in Addis-Ababa with the mandate to assess the regional maritime domain, conduct diagnostic actions and baseline studies of the profile of each Member state’s regional maritime priorities, concerns and requirements.

The Maritime Pillar of IGAD SSP works to enhance the capacity of IGAD States to deal regionally with common maritime security challenges and threats. The mission of IGAD SSP Maritime Pillar is to enhance the visibility of the regional maritime domain and spearhead the implementation of the 2015-2030 IGAD Integrated Maritime Strategy (2015-2030 IGAD IMS) validated in December 2015 in Djibouti.

The IGAD Integrated Maritime Strategy is devoted to address holistically the priorities of the regional maritime domain and goes far beyond a single focus on piracy. Rather, it addresses other maritime related challenges, as well as opportunities for our region. It is a cross-sectorial framework formulated in order to anchor a sustainable regional maritime domain as well as adhere to the overall objectives of the blue economy in light of our regional and continental perspectives.

The IGAD Integrated Maritime Strategy covers the following priority areas:

  • maritime governance;
  • maritime domain critical routes and infrastructures;
  • sustainable development and protection of the marine environment;
  • maritime economy; and
  • maritime research and mapping.

The 2015-2030 IGAD Integrated Maritime Strategy incorporates aspirations set out by the African Union 2009 Maritime Transport Charter and the Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050, and comprises a cohesive and coherent framework that will help achieve the objectives of IGAD to strengthen the region’s marine and maritime sector and increase its economic vitality.

The IGAD Integrated Maritime Strategy vision statement is to achieve: “a healthy and vibrant marine and maritime sector for the IGAD region, free from threat and criminal activity, providing real employment and viable economic prospects for local communities.”

It is to be recalled that the African Union Commission (AUC) has designated 2015-2025 as the decade of the African Seas and Oceans, and hence IGAD as a Regional Economic Community (REC) has since been working towards aligning itself along those lines

All international cooperating partners’ financial resources and technical assistance are welcomed in the effective implementation of IGAD Regional Maritime Security Programme.

Daoud A. Alwan
Head of Counter Terrorism/ Maritime Security
September 3, 2021



Prospects for Future Development and Intermediate Challenges to the IGAD Region

IGAD has a Maritime Safety & Security Strategy (IMSS 2015-2030) which was validated on December 15, 2015. The strategy remains the guiding instrument for developing IGAD Member States’ own capacity for maritime safety and security and addressing programming interventions for a comprehensive maritime economic development activities in the region.

Maritime security is not a new thing in the list of international security buzzwords. Maritime Security refers to threats such as maritime inter-state disputes, maritime terrorism, piracy, maritime crimes i.e., narco-trafficking, illegal fishing , arms trafficking using the maritime domain, environmental crimes at sea. - In short our seas should be peaceful and pacified to a level that all insecurities aforementioned defining maritime security do not exist anymore, and member states are able to govern the littoral spaces.

If we elaborate on one specific aspect of the Blue Economy in relation to maritime security, the effect of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by foreign vessels is known to be impacting on overall sustainable and profitable fisheries for coastal communities across in Somalia and Kenya. Other maritime crimes such as toxic waste dumping have also been reported in the past. Both constitute threats to maritime security, as well as to peace and security on overall. The sustainable exploitation of the maritime domain could be economically beneficial to IGAD’s littorals, so much so that an IGAD Blue Economy Desk was launched at a right time – the Desk would be promoting multi-sectoral maritime economic development, under a new concept known as “Blue Growth” which is also in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

With such goals, it would be futile to discuss sustainable blue economy, without having a grip on maritime security in the maritime domain since there is a nexus between maritime security and blue economy.

It is also critical to have maritime security regulatory regimes as requirements to govern all facets of maritime domain activities and operations, more so when maritime resources exploitation or blue economy and its development is now more than ever being contemplated in the IGAD region.

In this connection, IGAD region is taking a proactive role especially, when the region is bestriding an important Sea Lanes of Communications (SLOCs) specifically, Western Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.

Enhanced inter-state cooperation between Member States is a priority if a secure maritime domain devoid of transnational crimes such as piracy, illicit human and arms trafficking, terrorism threats and environmental crimes, including aggressive resource exploitation, are to be averted.

The blue economy development and resource exploitation will only take place when most if not all insecurities besetting the maritime domain at the moment are dealt with broadly. Therefore, important in the way forward would be the application of security and governance in the blue economy interventions and projections of state action at sea…

IGAD region is a very important region. Five of its Member States are maritime littoral states, and straddles a strategic waterway for global trade and commerce. It is important to note that critically strategic goods, including oil and gas pass through the narrow straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. Moreover, IGAD Member States have continued to observe various international instruments, including United Nations Conventions on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other maritime related global conventions as well as regional treaties/memoranda like the Code of Conduct Concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden also known as the Djibouti Code of Conduct.

IGAD is the lead organisation in the service of the overall coordination of the Programme to Promote Maritime Security in the ESA-IO region also known as MASE, through coordination of all regional organisations undertaking programme interventions i.e. the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). The MASE also involves United Nations partners, i.e. FAO, UNODC and INTERPOL.

Being a cross-regional programme relying on strong coordination as well as seamless implementation of various programmatic strands allowing for individual RECs and respective partners to implement under an agreed results-based framework.

The advent of COVID 19 caught the IGAD region like the rest of the world, depressing economies, leaving high mortalities. The pandemic has overwhelmed healthcare systems in most Member States in the region and seem to be the main preoccupation. Joint efforts in mitigating regional maritime crimes should not take a backseat at this point in time. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on areas prone to insecurities could to lead to an increase in illicit maritime trading and related insecurities.

Ahmed Yusuf Hersi
Senior Advisor – IGAD Peace and Security Division
September 3, 2021




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