The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation support unit has organized a two-day regional consultation meeting on the development of a draft mediation protocol in the South Sudanese capital, Juba.
IGAD, in a statement, said the concept behind the consultation with legal experts and the focal points from IGAD member states’ ministries of foreign affairs is to provide ground for policy formulation to adopt the decision to draft a protocol on the mediation process.
The first step is to share with member states’ representatives arguments that warrant a policy, to debate on the need for such a protocol, and discuss the benefits for IGAD to have it in place for conflict prevention and peacemaking, party reads the statement.
While opening the two-day meeting, David Buom Choat, the director of regional organization at South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry said the pre-policy consultative meeting on the mediation protocol was an important platform as it prescribes a roadmap for mediation interventions in political disputes and in accordance with the principles of international law of equal member states.
“We would want to see a Mediation Protocol that is comfortable and satisfied to all stakeholders, and which is in line with the policy of respecting the views of all member states in the region”, he added.
The programme manager for gender affairs at the IGAD Secretariat, Mubarak Mabuya stressed the importance of the workshop as key to strengthening IGAD’s role in mediation and the effectiveness of interventions, while underscoring the importance of mediation as a tool for promoting sustainable peace and security in the region.
At the end of the workshop, however, a policy decision to establish a mediation protocol, and an Agreement on the outline of draft mediation protocol would have been attained as expected results.
The vision of the IGAD mediation support unit is to establish regional viable mediation structures, to which predictability of processes and outcome is ensured, and the objectives of any mediation are governed by collective will and interest of all member states.
IGAD is an eight-member regional bloc established in 1996. Its members include, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Eritr