Friday, January 30, 2009

IGAD--Getting Proactive on its Security Imperative?

It's no news now that Ethiopian troops have withdrawn from Somalia. What is news is the fact that the six-member Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)--comprising Kenya; Uganda; Ethiopia; Somalia; Suda; and Djibouti -- issued a statement after an emergency meeting on Tuesday 27 January condemning actions of what are described as "anti-peace groups" in Somalia.

Bottom line is that unbeknownst to many, IGAD is getting proactive on the facilitation of its regional integration process, which could look like one increasingly predicated on security.

Profoundly reminiscent of ECOWAS in the 1990s when the West African REC transformed its mandate to transcend a conflict resolution/preventive one by establishing ECOMOG, it has got one thinking whether this new-found imperative is not to be consolidated further.

These latest developments look like it just might do that--with the help of the African Union.

Already--as VOA news maintained--top AU diplomat Jean Ping "spoke confidently of adding Ugandan and Nigerian battalions to the AU's 3,500-strong peacekeeping mission in Somalia." This is important as the Islamist extremists are allegedly trying to re-take control of Somalia.

We all know how nature abhors a vacuum. Developments so far prove that with the proactiveness of AU and IGAD, the regional solution will be comprehensively explored.

[map from Voice of America website]

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