The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Tuesday urged closer cooperation with China in regional peace and security initiatives targeting the eastern Africa region. The East African bloc made the call on strengthening partnership with China, with particular emphasis on cooperation in the peace and security sector, in a statement on Tuesday that followed a recent meeting between IGAD officials and a Chinese delegation from the Institute of African Studies at the Zhejiang Normal University in China.
IGAD’s Director of Agriculture and Environment Division and Officer-in-Charge of the Secretariat, Mohamed Moussa, briefed the Chinese delegation “on the current situation in the region, in particular in South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia, including the new developments in the Red Sea region,” an IGAD statement read.
“After an in-depth deliberation, the two sides emphasized the need for a balanced approach in enhancing peace and security and development efforts in the region,” IGAD said. According to IGAD, the delegation’s visit, among other things, aimed “to discuss areas of cooperation between IGAD and China, particularly in the areas of peace and security in the Horn of Africa.” The Chinese delegation from the Zhejiang Normal University, headed by Shu Zhan, paid a courtesy visit to the IGAD Secretariat in Djibouti on late Monday.