The National Consultative Meeting of the East Africa’s bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), kicked off Monday in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to discuss a protocol on free movement of persons in the region.
Representative of the IGAD Executive Secretary Ambassador Abu Zaid Al-Hassan said Khartoum’s meeting tends to discuss the IGAD National Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the region.
He added that the protocol tends to encourage organization of the huge non-official movement of persons and provide legal framework for the movement of persons in the region.
“The IGAD agenda on migration governance is intended to promote a safe, legal and beneficial migration in this region and globally,” said al-Hassan.
“In the last decade, the IGAD Member States have worked with the IGAD Secretariat towards solving several old and emerging challenges in the region,” he noted.
Sudan’s Interior Minister Hamid Mannan stressed the importance of migration governance and movement of persons within the IGAD region.
He pointed out that the IGAD countries are witnessing intensive population movement that needs to be organized by governing laws.
“There are many population movements within the IGAD countries represented in refugees and legal and illegal migrants besides the regular seasonal movement of the pastoral communities which constantly cross the political borders,” he said.
The IGAD has recently received a grant from the EU emergency Trust Fund with the intention of facilitating the establishment of a free movement regime within the IGAD region.
The IGAD, established in 1986, includes members Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea.