Somali president arrives in Ethiopia for IGAD leaders’ meeting

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend an extraordinary summit of the regional Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD) bloc.

The civil war in South Sudan will top the agenda of the summit.

All heads of state of IGAD member states, African Union and UN representatives as South Sudanese leaders will attend the meeting.

On Wednesday, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former deputy-turned rival Riek Machar met in neighbouring Ethiopia for the first time in nearly two years.

The two South Sudan foes hugged each other as regional powers try to bring the war in the world’s youngest nation to an end.

Despite the hug, the two leaders failed to agree on “anything”, sources told the Paris-based Sudan Tribune news website.

Former South Sudan deputy president Machar has been under house arrest in South Africa for nearly two years after falling out with President Kiir and fleeing the country.

Fighting between pro-Kiir and pro-Machar forces has claimed the lives of thousands of people since 2013.

Several peace agreements signed between the two sides have all fallen apart and human rights groups accuse the warring sides of committing widespread rights violations.

The country, of about 10 million people, attained independence from Sudan in 2011 six years after an agreement with Khartoum that ended a long and brutal civil war.

During the summit, the Somali president will brief regional leaders on the security situation in Somalia and propose new strategies to stabilize the country.

The summit will begin late on Thursday, 21 June.

IGAD is an East African bloc whose members include Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

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