Ethiopia Refuses to Abdicate IGAD Chairmanship

In the last 5 years, Ethiopia has been using IGAD as an extension of its Foreign Ministry
In the last 5 years, Ethiopia has been using IGAD as an extension of its Foreign Ministry

By TesfaNews,

The principle of “Rotation and Equitable Representation” is a common feature in all contemporary regional, continental and international organizations. It ascertains that all member states – regardless of wealth, size, or importance – are equal partners entitled to equal responsibility and participation in the affairs of the organization.

However, when we examine the performance of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), this cardinal principle has been violated by Ethiopia for the last five years. 

Ethiopia assumed the Chairmanship of IGAD for a one-year term at the 12th Ordinary Summit of the Organization held in Addis Ababa, on 14th of June 2008. Yet in 2013, Ethiopia is still refusing to transfer the Chairmanship to another country.

The Agreement Establishing IGAD clearly stipulates that the Assembly of Heads of State and Government (the ‘Summit’ in short), has to meet at least once a year in a Regular Session. The election of a country to chair the Organization is a standing item on the agenda of the Ordinary Sessions. Hence, the Chairmanship of IGAD has to rotate annually among the eight Member States (i.e. Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda). Member States have also the right to request the holding of Extraordinary Sessions in between the Regular ones.

Ethiopia, invoking all types of excuses, has been deliberately preventing the IGAD Heads of State from holding their annual Ordinary Summit. But, whenever it has an agenda item that serves its political and diplomatic agenda, Ethiopia has never shied away from calling Extraordinary Summits, which most of the time took place on the sidelines of the AU Summits.

In order to understand and compare how the Principle of Rotation is practiced and implemented by AU and other RECs and is abused by Ethiopia, see the table below.







2008 Tanzania South Africa Kenya Rwanda Ethiopia
2009 Libya D.R. Congo Zimbabwe Tanzania Ethiopia
2010 Malawi Namibia Swaziland Burundi Ethiopia
2011 Equatorial Guinea Angola Malawi Kenya Ethiopia
2012 Benin Mozambique Uganda Uganda Ethiopia
2013 Ethiopia Mozambique* Uganda* Uganda* Ethiopia

* The new Chairs of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the East African Community (EAC) will be elected in the Summits of the respective organizations to be held in the coming months of this year.

If the “Principle of Rotation and Equitable Representation” had been respected, given the fact that there are eight IGAD Member States, Ethiopia would have assumed the Chairmanship again in 2016. But that is not the case. It is, therefore, appropriate for any observer to see IGAD as the ‘Trojan Horse of Ethiopia,’ and its Chairmanship, ‘Chair for life’.

This begs the question: When a Member State is weeded to the Chairmanship and refuses to let go, should the other seven Member States remain mere spectators? Or have they become so disillusioned with the Organization to care about who is at the helm?

Whatever the answer is, if the status-quo remains unchanged it is only fitting for the Organization to change its name one more time: from IGAD to EGAD (Ethiopian Government Authority on Development).

10 thoughts on “Ethiopia Refuses to Abdicate IGAD Chairmanship

  1. These African organizations are only in name, but they do not represent Africans or work for Africans interest. The working budgets of IGAD, AU and its affiliates is paid by the Western and Easter countries who want to exploit African resources, and those who pay the bill choose who will be the Chair. They usually assign who will serve them best and Ethiopia has distinguish itself as a reliable servant since the time of colonization. Libya used to pay some but now it is under the ground and 100% of AU, IGAD, ECAWA is paid by USAID, EU and China.

  2. If a single member state does not want to abide by the rule then it is logic the rest of them should exclude the nation and or create new one of their own with out changing the content of IGAD. Why wait and complain. The issue of IGAD is not only the leadership it is the change of the main idea of IGAD.

  3. I believe the problem squarely lies with Somalia, Djibouti and South Sudan that they all heavily depend on Ethiopia fir their servical. So relinquishing tgeir right to become the Chairmanship to big mama Ethiopia is in their best interest than being a chairman of an extended Ethiopian foreign ministry office.

    Uganda, which is already chairman of two regional grouping is not at all interested in the chairmanship of IGAD. This leaves us with remaining two countries: Sudan and Kenya. With both leaders have issues with ICC would't mind to become a Chairman of IGAD as long as IGAD assures them it won't cooperate with ICC as they can not voice against ICC while chairing it at the same time. It's going to a conflict of interest. So with the support of nearly all the countries and of course by bringing some lousy convincing stuff, ethiopia remains the chair of the group for nearly six years.

  4. I like the fact that your bringing up the stupid TPLF goverments recent anthics! They should relinquish the chairmanship immidiately (but dont forget that they are the puppets of the U.S – meaning – they can do whatever they want in the horn of africa!)

    But an interesting fact, i think its kind of hypocritical that we discuss the Ethiopians unwillingness to let go of power , when the PFDJ refuses to do the same. "Rotation" is an principle that is not used by Eritrea (Issias has held the power for 22 years), "Equitable representation"……(PFDJ pretty much represents all aspects of Eritrea, they have done a good job on that point! Even though i'd wished they were willing to negotiate, or at least hold a dialogue, with Jebha sympatizers)

    // Mike, a New bread of "thinking Eritrean Youths" that are not brainwashed by the YPFDJ nor the EYSC, our organisation calls ourself "Neutral Eritreans"

  5. why should anyone hold dialogue with jebha, those who wanted to govern in an ethnic manner (tplf style) those who were killing Christians left right and centre. no thanks. PFDJ can hold the chair. All they have to do it improve the way they do things.

  6. Western multinational corporations literally own Ethiopia, under whose name they execute their neo-colonial interests exploiting the African continent’s rich oil and mineral resources at will.

    Ethiopia is a colonized nation in every sense of the word. For instance, before the start of the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in 2009, African countries, following two weeks of intensive negotiations, reached an agreement and prepared a written document requesting 40% of the available UN fund, or $600 billion dollars, to tackle climate change in the continent.

    The Western countries sought to undermine Africa’s interests by appointing the African Judas Iscariot, Meles Zenawi, to head the African delegation negotiating the deal at Copenhagen, at which time he presented a doctored document prepared by France for the adoption of a fund of only $10 billion dollars a year, but the original African document puts the figure at $600 billion a year.

    The Ethiopian Judas from Tigray betrayed African countries for 30 pieces of silver. It then became abundantly clear that Ethiopia is a colonized country, and its leaders from Tigray are all House Negroes who do the bidding of their white masters.

    When the colonized Ethiopia ascended to the chairmanship of IGAD in 2008, it was then that the organization was sold for 30 pieces of silver. No surprise there. IGAD as it stands today, its acronym means nothing more than Illicit Gains Advancing Division.

  7. This Agame regime must expelled from IGAD It should not use the organization to fulfill its narrowly formulated & ill-advised foreign policy interests over the neighboring countries.

    1. እቲ ዝገርም ምስ መን ከም ትዛረብ ቅሩብ ምሕሳብ ከድልየና እዩ…እዚኦም ደቂ ዝባጋዲሽ ብዘይካ ምስራቅን ምልማንን ካልእ ከም ሰብ ዝሓስቦ
      ዘይሓስቡ ናይ ሎሚ እምበር ናይ ጽብሕ ብዘየገድስ ስራሕ ንዓታቶም እንታዮም ኣይኰነን ብሓጺሩ ምስ ዝመተ ዘይምዝራብ ወይ ዘይምኽሳስ ናይ
      ለባማት ኣታሓሳስባ እዩ፣ ግን ለገሰ ዜናዊ ከምኡ ሓሳዊን ሰራቂን ኣብ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይተፈጥረን፣ መዓል ኣሉላ ተላኣኺ ናይ መነሊክ ዝነበረ ሓሳዊን
      ሰራቂን ከም ዝነበረ ኢትዮጵያውያን ባዕሎም ዝምስክሩዎ ሓቂ እዩ መብዝሕትኦም ከም ዝብሉ ግን ከም መለስ ሰራቂን ሓሳዊን መደናግርን ሎሚ ዝበላ
      ድሕሪ ገለ ሰዓታት"የበልኩይ" ዝብል ብቢልዮናት-ዶላራት ኣብ ወጻኢ ከም ዘሎዎ ኣብ ዓለምለኻዊ-ባንክ ዝሰርሑ ኢትዮጵያውያን ከም ዘጋለጽዎ
      ካብ መዓል ሲ-ኣይ-ኤ ድሕሪ ደጊም ከምዚ ኢልኩም ብዛዕባ መለስ ትዛረቡ ስራሕኩም ክትስእኑ ኢኹም ከም ዝበልዎም ዝተጠራጠረ ብሂዎቶም
      ኣሎዉ ኣብ ኒዮርክ ክትሓትዎም ትኽእሉ።

  8. Don't be jelouse, no need to be un enemy be brather like it was befor- it is you government which is your enemy – stop your post war discusion.

Comments are closed.