Consultative conference on a Protocol of free movement of persons in the region kicked off on Sunday in Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The meeting convened representatives from intergovernmental Authority of Development (IGAD), Somali leaders from Federal and State levels, officials from AU and UN agencies.
The delegates are expected to discuss on benefits and barriers to free movement of Persons in IGAD and to generate national recommendations towards the Provision of the Protocol on (FMP) in the region.
The conference is a follow-up to another meeting that was held last year aiming at increasing the legal mobility within the region.
Speaking at workshop held by the regional body last year, IGAD Executive Secretary, Mahboub Moalim emphasized the need for regional cooperation for the vision of IGAD forefather to be realized.
” IGAD has put in place several mechanism but all our stakeholders at continental level have a role and responsibility towards the success and validation of this great milestone to be achieved,” said Moalim addressing IGAD officials during last year’s workshop.
Somalia which is recovering from two decade civili war has recently been holding regional conferences in its capital, Mogadishu
In 2016, the city hosted 53rd Summit of IGAD for the first time since the fall of the central government in 1991.
Eyeing IGAD leadership
Somali government has been lobbying the bloc members for support on its proposal to hold the Executive Secretary of IGAD.
It was reported that Somalia wants the position for its former Foreign minister, Abdisalam Hadliye.
The government reportedly submitted the name of its candidate for the post as IGAD approaches its session to choose new Executive Secretary.
If Somalia’s proposal is accepted by the members, Hadliye would be first person from Somalia to lead the block.
Somalia, Djibouti and South Sudan never held the office of the Executive Secretary which has been rotational basis since the inception of the bloc.
The current head of the regional bloc, Mahboub Moalim who was leading for last nine years, is expected to step down this year.
Mahboub, a Kenyan National is the fifth Executive Secretary.