ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The 13th ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa concluded on Friday with Sudan taking over the chair of the east African bloc.
The eight-nation trading and security bloc chose Sudan to take over the chair position replacing Ethiopia. Sudan is expected to hold the position for one year.
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok received his country's chair position from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at a ceremony held at the end of the 13th ordinary session IGAD.
IGAD has been mediating an end to the civil war in South Sudan ever since conflict broke out in the world's newest nation in December 2013.
IGAD member countries are also key troop contributors to the African Union Mission in Somalia peacekeeping force, tasked with stabilizing Somalia and stopping the threat posed by the extremist group al-Shabab.
The IGAD summit also discussed issues of violent extremism, pollution, piracy and illegal migration and freedom of maritime navigation in the waters of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
In another major development, the 13th ordinary session of IGAD formally replaced outgoing IGAD Executive Secretary, Mahboub Maalim with Ethiopia's former Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu. Enditem