The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) heads of state have extended the tenure of Executive Secretary, Workneh Gebeyehu for another four years. This decision was made during the 14th Ordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Djibouti on June 12, 2023.
The regional leaders have agreed that the IGAD Council of Ministers will appoint two deputy Executive Secretaries, one from Somalia, who the Somali government will nominate. The leaders commended Somalia for its efforts in implementing Security Sector Reforms, leading to significant gains in the fight against terrorism.
The IGAD leaders have also called upon the international community to provide political and financial support to the Somali National Consultative Council in finalizing the constitutional document, election model, and stabilization strategy.
The National Consultative Council, comprised of federal leaders including President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, Deputy Prime Minister Salah Ahmed Jama, as well as four regional leaders and the mayor of Mogadishu, had previously agreed to reshape the country’s political system two weeks ago.
Despite opposition from certain political groups, the Somali Council of Ministers approved the political agreement last week. This agreement introduced direct elections as early as the next year, unified the election schedules, and endorsed establishing a presidential system for the country.
The leaders have also called for the lifting of embargoes and sanctions that hinder the full capacity of the Somali security forces to combat al Shabab.
Regarding the Las Anod conflict, the regional leaders have urged the warring parties in Las Anod to immediately cease hostilities and resolve their differences through discussion and dialogue.
Las Anod, located in the disputed Sool region, has been a hotbed of unrest since February 6, with violent clashes between the forces of the self-declared state of Somaliland and local militia of the Dhulbahante clan. This conflict, causing chaos and jeopardizing regional stability, resulted in a death toll of 299, with over 1,913 injured and over 200,000 displaced.
Last week, the United Nations Security Council reaffirmed its commitment to Somalia’s unity and territorial integrity. Concerned about civilian casualties, injuries, and displacement, the council urged the immediate withdrawal of Somaliland security forces and called for restraint.