AU plays a mediator in Ethiopia-Tigray conflict

AU plays a mediator in Ethiopia-Tigray conflict
The chairperson of African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. Photo: Courtesy.

​The African Union (AU), has for the first time brought together warring factions from the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in South Africa.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the African Union Commission said Wednesday, October 26, the process was meant to present a discourse to end protracted conflict in Ethiopia as the implementation of finding African solutions to African problems.

“The Chairperson expresses his profound appreciation to President Cyril Ramaphosa (President of South Africa) for graciously accepting to host the talks in the spirit of pan-African solidarity to find African solutions to African problems,” the statement of AUC stated.

Faki admired demonstrated commitment from the warring parties in Ethiopia, in an attempt to unlock the potential of unity, stability peace and resilience in Ethiopia.

The talks are led by the former Nigerian President and the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and the former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The observers include representatives from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the United Nations (UN), and the Government of the United States of America (USA).

Ambassador of Ethiopia to South Sudan, Nebil Mahdi Abdullahi, had on September called for fairness from the international community while addressing the issue.

“Equating the government with this outlawed terrorist group and apportioning blame is completely wrong. The TPLF reignited the conflict in a premeditated manner; stole fuel destined for humanitarian aid, and is rejecting peace efforts under the auspices of the African Union. Insulting and denigrating the African Union must be condemned,” Nebil stated.

“Even during these increased hostilities, we have to talk about the prospects for peace. You all know our position on this matter. Our commitment to peace is not rhetorical.”

He accused TPLF of delaying tactics for the AU-led process not to take shape adding that the rebel group (TPLF) had acquired military equipment that violated the sovereignty and integrity of Ethiopia as a nation.

On August 24, 2022, TPLF launched an assault in many parts of Ethiopia, a step Nebil cited as an attempt to impede the provision of aid to northern Ethiopia.

The two feuding sides had differing interests in the mediation process, with the government edging towards a mediation process led by the former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, while the TPLF craved a process led by the former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta.