Eritrea rejoined the East African bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), nearly 16 years after it suspended membership, Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel said Monday.
“Eritrea resumed its activity in IGAD and took its seat” at a summit organized by the seven-nation bloc in Djibouti on Monday, Meskel said on Twitter.
He said the country was ready to work towards “peace, stability, and regional integration.”
Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab attended the Summit on behalf of President Isaias.
Eritrea suspended its IGAD membership in 2007 in response to IGAD’s support of Ethiopian military intervention backing the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia despite UN and AU resolutions.
Eritrea’s long-held desire is to revitalize IGAD as an effective regional institution for promoting peace and stability as well as economic cooperation among the Member States on the basis of synergy and complementarity.
Today’s announcement comes after Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki told reporters during a visit to Kenya in February that his country would rejoin IGAD “with the idea of revitalizing this regional organization.”
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Workneh Gebeyehu, executive secretary of IGAD, hailed Eritrea’s return to the bloc, saying in an official statement: “Let me take this opportunity to welcome back the State of Eritrea to the IGAD family.”
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is an eight-country trading bloc based in Eastern Africa. Including governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley, and African Great Lakes, its headquarters are located in Djibouti. [TN]
#Eritrea added that it believes a dedicated focus on development; a leading role in fostering regional peace & security; a synergetic regional approach to external relations; effective self-financing; &, fidelity to its rules are vital ingredients for IGAD's strength & success pic.twitter.com/ADSA0Ialml
— Yemane G. Meskel (@hawelti) June 12, 2023
Delighted to welcome #Eritrea's Foreign Minister, H.E. Osman Saleh, as he joins us for the 14th Ordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Djibouti today. pic.twitter.com/GlzEroYflm
— Dr Workneh Gebeyehu (@DrWorkneh) June 12, 2023