Re: IGAD: The Expected Role “Regional Development, Sustainability and Integration” and Current Situation
By Yakume A
IndepthAfrica- IGAD was established in 1986 as IGADD, with a mandate to mitigate drought effects and combat desertification in the East / Horn of Africa region. The vision of the organization is “IGAD will be the premier regional organization for achieving peace, prosperity and regional integration in the Horn of Africa”. IGAD Mission is “To assist and complement the efforts of the Member States to achieve, through increased cooperation; Food Security and environmental protection; Promotion and maintenance of peace and security and humanitarian affairs, and Economic cooperation and integration.
All these things are very good and important for the people of the region. But nothing delivered by this organization “IGAD”. So, IGAD have failed or lacks capacity and commitment to bring solution for droughts and food insecurity and environmental protection; to assist and complement the efforts of the member states to achieve; to increase cooperation, cooperation and integration among the members; promote and maintain peace and security (critical analysis of conflict transformation and strategies for success in the Horn’s Future), and also displacement.
IGAD is / was not willing to discuss and propose solutions for the humanitarian crisis and conflicts in the member states and the regions in these countries; for instance there was / is Ethiopian problems and interventions in the others issues (i.e. Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea, etc); humanitarian crisis and human rights problems in the Ogaden region, the political problems in Ethiopia, the past and current Ethiopian crimes and genocides in Ogaden and Eretria, the Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan problems, issues about Darfur of Sudan and Ogaden of Ethiopia. Where is IGAD’s role in the current issue of the Somalia, Eritrea and Northern Uganda? IGAD is not in position to meet the expectation of its countries and people “Regional Development, Peace Building, Disaster Risks Reduction, Sustainability and Integration, Youth Development and Employment Creation, etc”.
There are people within the region who believe that, IGAD is not an organization, but a tool under control of the Ethiopians and there is a need for urgent reform and reactivate the organization’s mandate and operations, so IGAD can be strong regional body and deliver its mandate in a appropriate and clear way. So, who can tell us what IGAD is doing in the region? There is a need for replacement of IGAD with Horn of Africa Initiative, with a leadership of Kenya and Eritrea. IGAD leadership should think about their situation and original mandate, identify key issues and files ”hot issues and regions” in the region, and develop response mechanism for the problems. IGAD should have some sort of capacity development for capacity – within the organization and for the member organizations. The news face should focus on disaster risks reduction, social justice and protection, climate change and hazard disasters index, conflict transformation for peace building and integration. IGAD must propose and bring solutions and end current humanitarian crisis and human right abuses in the Ogaden and Darfur regions, the northern Uganda, Somalia and Ethio-Eretria issues, and improves its relationship with other organizations.