Igad to hold emergency talks on Somalia-Ethiopia row

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Leaders of the East African regional bloc, Igad, will next week meet in Uganda to discuss the growing diplomatic tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia.

Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who is the current chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), made the announcement on Thursday, through a letter to the bloc’s member states.

The African Union and other international partners are also expected to participate in the talks, which will also touch on the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

Sudan has been in a civil war since a power struggle between the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) sparked a civil war in April last year.

Igad has been steering regional efforts to broker a ceasefire between the warring parties.

Ethiopia and Somalia are currently engaged in a diplomatic standoff following Ethiopia’s signing of a sea access deal with Somaliland, a breakaway state of Somalia that is not internationally recognised.

Somalia has denounced the deal as a violation of its sovereignty and vowed to challenge it “by any legal means”.

AU and other international bodies have called for dialogue amid concerns that the Ethiopia-Somaliland deal could escalate tensions in the Horn of Africa region.

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