• Uhuru cited violent extremism, drought and armed conflicts as some of the challenges that require urgent attention from the IGAD leaders.
• The president pointed out that no progress would be realized without peace, adding that a stable region was beneficial to all IGAD member states.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said Kenya will continue to collaborate with regional and international partners to strengthen conflict prevention and promote sustainable peace and development.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on IGAD Heads of State and Government to work together toward sustainable solutions to challenges that pose a threat to regional peace and security.
President Kenyatta spoke in Nairobi on Tuesday during the 39th Extraordinary Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government.
Uhuru cited violent extremism, drought and armed conflicts as some of the challenges that require urgent attention from the IGAD leaders.
"In the past two years alone, the region has experienced a desert locust invasion, a crushing drought that is still ongoing, numerous threats related to violent extremism, armed conflicts and, like the rest of the world, the region has not been spared from the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.
He added that the drought, the worst in 40 years, has intensified food insecurity, dried up water sources and forced displacement of people, raising tensions that could trigger new conflicts.
"We urgently need to manage the drought before it becomes a threat multiplier," Uhuru said.
The president pointed out that no progress would be realized without peace, adding that a stable region was beneficial to all IGAD member states.
"As leaders, it is incumbent upon us to work together boldly and creatively to navigate the multiple crises we face, seize opportunities as they emerge and define a path of peace and sustainable economic development."
President Kenyatta assured that Kenya will continue to invest in regional efforts to secure peace and stability.
He reiterated that Kenya will not waiver in its commitment to collaborating with regional and international partners, in strengthening conflict prevention and promoting sustainable peace and development.
Leaders, who spoke at the summit, lauded Uhuru for his steadfast commitment to peace and stability in the region.
"You have indeed provided critical leadership in regional and global peace and security. You have distinguished yourself as a beacon of hope for the population affected by conflicts," IGAD special envoy Ismail Guyo said on behalf of the IGAD leaders.
"Your promotion of dialogue, political tolerance and respect for diversity as an instrument for national cohesion and integration is beyond reproach," he added.
African Union Commission representative Bankole Adeoye who is also the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, echoed President Kenyatta’s call.
"The African Union Commission stands ready to scale up support for IGAD initiatives in all these areas. We work together to consolidate political transitions, to address the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, and to ensure collective security remains our overriding goal," he said.
The summit was chaired by the President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of the Republic of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan,
Other IGAD leaders who attended the summit included Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, South Sudan 2nd Vice President Taban Deng Gai, Somali Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid while Uganda was represented by Defence Minister Vincent Ssempijja.