IGAD welcomed Eritrea’s decision to return to the body four years after it suspended its membership, and a month after IGAD members called for sanctions on the Red Sea state.
Eritrea rejoined the bloc in July after walking out in protest at arch-foe Ethiopia sending troops into Somalia in late 2006. IGAD has since asked the U.N. to impose punitive measures against Eritrea for its alleged support of Islamist militants in Somalia.
“On behalf of the staff of the IGAD secretariat and on my own behalf, I wish to express my happiness with the bold decision by Eritrea to rejoin the IGAD family,” said executive secretary Mahboub Maalim in a letter to Osman Saleh, Eritrea’s foreign minister.
“I am confident that the IGAD member states, the IGAD development partners and all IGAD stakeholders will be delighted to see Eritrea back in the IGAD family fold,” he added.