June 9, 2021: (KHARTOUM, Sudan): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, yesterday concluded a two-day official visit to Sudan during which he held meetings with Prime Minister and IGAD Chair Abdalla Hamdok and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Yesterday afternoon, the Executive Secretary attended the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement and signed the document as a guarantor along with the representatives from the Troika countries of Norway, the USA and the UK. In the morning, he had presided over a hand over ceremony of equipment and supplies in the fight against COVID-19 to the Minister of Health of Sudan.
Dr Workneh was “honoured by the warm welcome” reserved to him by the Prime Minister and other Sudanese officials during his visit. In his discussions with the PM, he said that they “evaluated the prevailing peace and security situation” in the region. “We agreed on the importance of a regional approach towards the resolution of outstanding challenges as we are working altogether”, he continued before congratulating PM Dr Hamdok “for the recent progress registered by Sudan at large and for the Signing of the Juba Peace Agreement”.
The Executive Secretary also held a lengthy meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of IGAD Council of Ministers, Dr. Mariam Alsadig Almahdi, to discuss “peace and security, the efforts and support by our regional organisation in mediation and conflict resolution, COVID-19, Migration-including the IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons”.
In the afternoon of June 8, Dr Workneh joined the Troika countries of Norway, the USA and the UK to co-sign the Juba Peace Agreement as a guarantor, which moment marked “a historic moment in the transition period of Sudan”, according to the Executive Secretary. He then sent his “congratulations to the leaders and people of Sudan for another achievement to be sustained with support from IGAD and partners”.
Dr Workneh took the opportunity of his visit to Khartoum to preside over a hand over ceremony along with the Minister of Health, Dr. Omer El-Nagieb, with representatives of the UN Office for Project Services, the International Organisation for Migration and UNICEF in attendance. “This is another handover event of three ambulances, a mobile laboratory, test kits and Personal Protective Equipment for a total amount of USD2million in our fight against #COVID19”, Dr Workneh said referring to previous similar events he conducted in other member countries. “This will serve Kassala, Gadareif and White Nile States, and the cross-border areas of Hamdiate, Galabat & Joda”, he continued.
According to the Executive Secretary, his two-day mission was productive as it allowed him to physically meet with the Chair of IGAD and the Chair of the IGAD Council of Ministers on the way forward for outstanding ordinary and extraordinary matters that need attention from the regional organisation. He also said his eagerness to see a smooth implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement and his conviction that Sudan will come through its transition period with success. He again committed IGAD to supporting the country during this critical transition period.