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Uhuru brokers talks between Ethiopia and Sudan at Igad Summit

Abiy and al-Burhan met, shook hands and agreed to dialogue and to peaceful resolution of outstanding issues

by Eliud Kibii
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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of Sudan, in Nairobi on June 5, 2022/ SUNA NEWS AGENCY

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday brought together Ethiopia and Sudan leaders during the 39th IGAD Extraordinary Heads of State and Government Summit in Nairobi.

President Kenyatta held separate meetings with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of Sudan, who is also the chairperson of IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Abiy and al-Burhan consequently met, shook hands and according to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, they both agreed that “our two countries have plenty of collaborative elements to work on peacefully”.

“Our common bonds surpass any divisions. We both made a commitment for dialogue and peaceful resolution to outstanding issues,” PM Abiy said in a tweet.

He spoke of turning the page on the differences between Ethiopia and Sudan and emphasizing the resolution of outstanding issues through dialogue and peaceful methods. Abiy added that the existing mechanisms between the two countries are capable of resolving them.

On his part, al-Burhan said the differences between African countries must be resolved within the framework of the “African house and by friendly means”.

Skirmishes between the neighbouring countries have erupted in recent years over the contested and fertile al-Fashqa border region.

In the latest incident, Sudan accused Ethiopia forces of killing its seven soldiers and a civilianin the area. However, Ethiopia denied the accusations, instead saying the  deaths were a result of a skirmish between Sudanese soldiers, who they said had staged an incursion into Ethiopian land, and a local militia.

In his address to the summit, President Kenyatta called on IGAD Heads of State and Government to work together towards sustainable solutions to challenges that pose a threat to regional peace and security.

Noting that a stable region was beneficial to all IGAD member states, the President said no progress would be realized without peace and security.

“As leaders, it is incumbent upon us to work together boldly and creatively to navigate the multiple crises we face, seize opportunities as they emerge and define a path of peace and sustainable economic development,” President Kenyatta said.

At the summit chaired by al-Burhan, Kenyatta assured that Kenya will continue to invest in regional efforts to secure peace and stability.

“Our discussions today are, therefore, of immense importance to Kenya because we recognize that our political and economic stability is dependent on the stability of the IGAD region. This is why we are invested in regional efforts to secure peace and stability,” he said.

The Head of State reiterated that Kenya will not waiver in its commitment to collaborating with regional and international partners in strengthening conflict prevention and promoting sustainable peace and development.

Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary told The Brief that Kenya was happy to host a platform where the two leaders could meet and shake hands in the interest of peace and security in the region.

Write to us at  editor@thebrief.co.ke

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