Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has joined her colleagues from the Inter-Parliamentary Union member states that fall under the IGAD umbrella to call for quick intervention into the conflict in South Sudan by member countries so as to end the suffering of millions of innocent people.
The fighting in South Sudan between armies loyal to different warring factions has left hundreds of civilians dead and thousands displaced.
The speakers voiced their concern during their meeting held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa between July 18 and 19, 2016.
The Conference of Speakers IPU-IGAD meeting also expressed concern about the humanitarian toll on innocent people and the disruption of trade between South Sudan and the regional states.
“Without peace, ” said Mohamed Adam Mohamed Ismail, the Secretary General of the IPU-IGAD member states.
Uganda’s Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told the meeting held on Monday, 18th in Addis Ababa, warned that if not addressed, the volatile situation in South Sudan can destabilise the entire East and Central African region.
“We should show our commitment to engage with Parliaments from IPU-IGAD to assess on-spot the situation in South Sudan, and also show support to the South Sudan people,” Kadaga said.
Kadaga also welcomed the African Union’s move to introduce the African passport, saying it was worthy of support by member states and that it would bring about free movement of people in the continent.
So far, two countries, Rwanda and Mauritius have implemented it. The plan for a single passport for Africa is part of the African Union’s 2063 Agenda.
Abadulla Gemeda, the Speaker of the House of the Peoples’ Representatives of Ethiopia, and also President of the Executive Council of IPU-IGAD also expressed the need for urgent measures to resolve the crisis in South Sudan.
In regard to the challenges the region is facing such as terrorism, human trafficking, migration and deforestation, Speaker Abadulla urged parliaments to pass legislations to combat the problems. He also urged member states to pass laws and regulations to encourage investment in the renewable energy sector, which he said has a huge potential. He cited Kenya as one of the countries that have made commendable progress in embracing use of renewable energy.
The Protocol establishing IGAD Inter-Parliamentary Union came into force on November 28, 2007 after being ratified by IGAD member states.
The Conference of the Speakers of Parliaments of IGAD member states is the highest organ of the Union. Speakers from Parliaments of Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti attended the Conference.