AU Commission calls for cessation of hostilities in Ethiopia

African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat during a previous press briefing. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

African Union has called for the warring regions in Ethiopia to give political dialogue a chance, to end the ongoing conflict.

The Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki stated that he is aware of the rising tension in northern Ethiopia.

There has been growing tension in the neighbouring communities of northern Ethiopia, including Raya Alamata, Zata, and Ofla.

“The Chairperson calls on both sides to urgently halt hostilities and ensure the safety of civilians to end the renewed displacement of the local population,” Faki stated on April 26.

The growing tension is a result of a fight for a Tigrayan territory which was taken over by the Amhara forces during the Tigrayan war which ended in 2022.

The AU chair has further called for respect and full implementation of the agreement for lasting peace through a permanent Cessation of Hostilities (COHA) signed in November 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The COHA signed between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) then restored peace after two years of fighting. 

In the agreement, Tigray is supposed to get back its annexed territory, a position that Amhara is opposed to.

The talks that birthed the truce were led by a panel of eminent African leaders appointed by the AU, including former presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo.

Faki has suggested that political dialogue; “Is the most viable means to respond to the issues of contested areas as stipulated in the COHA.”

According to the UN, local authorities in the Amhara region have confirmed that nearly fifty thousand people have been displaced as residents flee to neighbouring Kobo and Sekota areas.

“The humanitarian situation is dire, with thousands of women and children in need of broad humanitarian support to survive.” read part of a report released by the UN on Aril 22.