Kenyatta, Obasanjo to broker AU peace talks with Ethiopia and Tigray

AP - Gonzalo Fuentes

Former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta will be heading to South Africa to join Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday as mediators for African Union-brokered peace talks between the Federal government of Ethiopia and Tigray representatives.

The talks are part of an ongoing effort by the AU to maintain consultations in an effort to develop a format and timeline that would bring a resolution to the conflict.

The Ethiopian government has been fighting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) since November 2020 and accuses the rebel group of terrorism.

The parties resumed fighting three weeks ago but have been facing pressure to open negotiations.

AU Chair Moussa Faki invited Kenyatta to join a ‘Troika of negotiators’, according to a letter seen by Kenyan media.

Kenyatta, Obasanjo and South Africa's former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka would serve on this mediating panel.

In September, Tigrayan forces said they would agree to negotiations if they were managed by the African Union.

They had expressed their willingness to include Kenya – specifically with former president Kenyatta playing a prominent role.

During his presidency, Kenyatta was responsible for a number of mediations and peace initiatives on the continent.

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