East African group announces accord to strengthen security in the Gulf of Aden

East African Bloc
East African Bloc

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, on Tuesday adopted a communique to boost peace and security in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

The endorsement of the Regional Plan of Action (RPA) and Common Position by the eight member countries of the IGAD will help combat security threats like piracy, kidnapping and resurgence of radical groups in a region that provides a passageway to more than 10 percent of global maritime trade.

In a joint communique released after a three-day meeting in Kenya’s resort town of Naivasha, located about 90 km northwest of the capital, Nairobi, the IGAD termed the implementation of the pact as key to achieving durable stability.

Mohamed Ali Guyo, IGAD special envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia, said the initiative will help address the security threats around the Gulf of Eden and the Red Sea.

“IGAD leadership has recognized the importance of convening all stakeholders to transform this region into a hub of peace and economic prosperity,” Guyo said.

He said that over the past decade, the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden had witnessed a surge in regional and international competition while the interests of IGAD member states had been overlooked by international players due to a lack of dialogue, shared norms, common goals and coordination.

“The IGAD Council of Ministers directed the establishment of a special task force to develop a common position and regional plan of action and this has been achieved,” Guyo remarked.

Moi Lemoshira, the director-general in the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the insecurity in the region had affected development, stressing that collaboration was key to rooting out terrorism in the Gulf of Aden.

“The Gulf of Aden and Red Sea have very high potential but insecurity, political transition and instability in some member countries have hampered efforts to reap from the region,” Lemoshira observed.

He lauded the task force appointed to look at the opportunities and challenges of the IGAD region, adding that their report would help in coming up with a road map for addressing civil strife and climate emergencies that had taken a toll on livelihoods.

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