By David Lumu
KAMPALA - Envoys from IGAD member states meeting at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort hotel in Uganda’s capital Kampala have called for a standby mediation team to boost early warning mechanisms and also diffuse conflicts within the member states.
IGAD’s executive secretary Ambassador Mahboub Maalim spoke at the opening of a five-day high-level mediation course.
He said the establishment of a roster of mediators will help the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to “build capacity on preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution” by utilizing home-grown solutions to home problems.
Twenty-one people were nominated by member states—Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda – to constitute the IGAD standby mediation team.
According to Dr. Aleu Garang, the mediation coordinator at IGAD, the core team on mediation would help boost the three-year mediation IGAD office by tackling and averting conflicts among member states.
“We are aiming at institutionalizing mediation so that we have a core team that we can rely on.”
Launching the training, Asuman Kiyingi, the ministry of state for regional affairs said mediation “is the most accepted tool of achieving peace among the warring nations”.
The training is funded by the European Commission in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs.