An urgent meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to resolve the crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region will gather protagonists of the conflict, according to one of the resolutions from the meeting on Friday between Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed.Founded in 1996, IGAD brings together the East African nations of Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.
Hamdok visited Ethiopia becoming the first foreign leader in the Ethiopian capital since fighting broke out in Tigray on November 4, killing tens of thousands of people and causing a humanitarian crisis.
A Sudanese government official was quoted in a statement as saying that the meeting between Hamdok and Abiy had been “fruitful, especially on the emergency meeting of IGAD” and on reviving a committee to work on delineating their shared border.
On the Ethiopian side, Abiy, winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said Hamdok expressed support for the offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) during face-to-face talks.
“The Sudanese side reiterated their solidarity with the government of Ethiopia in the law enforcement operations it has been undertaking,” Abiy’s pffice said in a statement.
Hamdok’s travel to Addis Ababa came amid a growing refugee crisis that has seen some 50,000 Ethiopians flee conflict in the northern Tigray region into neighbouring Sudan, adding to Sudan’s economic and security challenges.
Two weeks ago, the Ethiopian leader declared victory in the fight against the now-fugitive regional government in Tigray.
Separately on Sunday, Abiy said on Twitter that he visited the Tigrayan capital of Mekele for the first time since federal forces claimed control of the city last month.