Exclusive: AU Horn of Africa envoy says leaders in Addis, Mekelle individually agree crisis “require political solution through dialogue”

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AU PSC in session. Picture: 2019 Archive/ISS Africa

Addis Standard Staff

Addis Abeba, November 08/2021 – In a speech, seen by Addis Standard, and delivered to the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) emergency session held today in Addis Abeba, AU High-Representative for the Horn of Africa and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said “leaders here in [Addis Abeba] and in the north agree individually that the differences opposing them are political and require political solution through dialogue .”

This, he said, “constitutes a window of opportunity that we can collectively tap into to assist the people of Ethiopia find lasting solution to the ongoing crisis.” However, he cautioned that “the window of opportunity we have is very little and that time is paramount for any intervention in this regard.”

“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed agreed that I pay a visit to Mekelle to meet his adversaries.”

Olusegun Obasanjo

AU’s HoA envoy also said he has “met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the President of Ethiopia and the President of Oromia and had meaningful discussions with them on the ongoing escalation with reflections on how to de-escalate tension to pave the way for dialogue.”

As to his trip to Mekelle on November 07, Mr Obasanjo told the PSC members that “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed agreed that I pay a visit to Mekelle to meet his adversaries.”

“The ongoing conflict situation continues to have severe humanitarian consequences on the population, with huge impact on socio-economic development and stability. The time is now for collective actions in finding lasting solution to avoid further escalation of the situation which may have direct effect on the strategic Horn of Africa region as a whole” the envoy warned.

He urged the Peace and Security Council to consider the following:

i. Strongly urge and encourage the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to engage in political dialogue without any preconditions;
ii. Call for an immediate and unconditional comprehensive ceasefire and cessation of hostilities by all parties;
iii. Call for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access;
iv. Call on the parties to ensure respect and compliance with international humanitarian and human rights laws;
v. Call for an immediate commencement of an all-inclusive nationwide dialogue and reconciliation.
vi. Call on the international community to rally behind the AU-led process in order to ensure coherence and unity of purpose for our peacemaking efforts.
AS