August 19, 2023, (Nairobi, Kenya): The Peace and Security Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has urged journalists from member countries to embrace their pivotal role in public service by providing accurate and impartial coverage of the region’s peace and security matters.
Speaking during a two day peace and security media workshop was held by the Division’s Director Hon. Siraj Fegessa said journalists need to band together and ethically cover complex security challenges facing the region. He emphasized the place of the media for positive influence and conveyance of fact based content.
“ The media can have a far reaching constructive role if it can fulfill its public service role as a trusted source of information and a medium that provides engaging, factual content, facilitates inclusive dialogue, calls public institutions to account and promotes the voices of unity” observed Hon. Fegessa.
The two-day event brought together 21 prominent journalists from member countries and media regulators. The primary objective of the meeting was to deliberate on the most pressing peace and security issues facing the region and to appraise the media’s role in promotion of peace and security in the region.
The meeting also discussed on how a robust partnership can be forged between IGAD and regional media in order to support credible and nuanced reporting of peace and security issues. In addition, discussions covered how IGAD can address challenges often faced by journalists around access and capacity
IGAD had convened an inaugural workshop for regional media in December 2022 where modalities of a collaborative platform in the form of a regional media network on peace and security were elaborated and the platform launched.
The second convening of the media network came at a time when the region is faced with varied security challenges including the conflict in Sudan and an impending election in Africa’s newest country-South Sudan.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) comprises eight member countries namely Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea and Uganda. One of IGAD’s core objectives is the advancement of peace and security within the region.