Uhuru Kenyatta invited for Ethiopia-Tigray peace talks in SA

Members of the Tigray diaspora in North America protest about their conflict with Ethiopia, near the State Department in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. [AP Photo]

Immediate former President Uhuru Kenyatta has been invited for peace talks between Tigray's TPLF and the Federal government of Ethiopia.

A letter by African Union chairman Moussa Faki indicates the talks will happen in South Africa starting Sunday, October 9, 2022.

He said the talks are in line with building on continuous consultations with the two sides that have been at war.

"Within the context of the ongoing African Union-led peace process for Ethiopia, I have the honour to invite you to the Peace Talks, scheduled to take place in South Africa Sunday, October 9, 2022," read part of the letter.

Faki said the talks between the two parties, is expected to deliberate on the guiding principles, agenda issues, modalities, format and timelines for the negotiated settlement aimed at laying the foundation for a structured and sustained mediation between t Federal Government of Ethiopia and the TPLF, towards durable resolution of the conflict.

The Peace talks will be facilitated and led by former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo with the support of a panel of distinguished and eminent Africans.

He said Uhuru and former UN Women Executive Director Dr Phumzile Mambo-Ngcuka will serve as panellists for the peace talks process.

Last month, the Tigrayan forces agreed to negotiate with Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union.

The rebels have been expressing confidence in Kenya as the chosen host of peace talks with Ethiopia with the former Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta playing a lead role.

And President William Ruto at his inauguration appointed Uhuru as his peace envoy for the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, which made him to continue chairing regional peace interventions on behalf of the Government of Kenya.

"I have committed that the government of Kenya will support those initiatives that President Kenyatta will chair and I want to thank you Excellency for graciously agreeing to support us and help me in those interventions," President Ruto said.

Ruto acknowledged his predecessors' efforts and diplomacy toward the promotion of peace, security and stability in the region, vowing to support his peace intervention endeavours fully.

Under the administration of Uhuru, Kenya moderated various peace initiatives in the region including chairing the African Union Peace and Security Council- the standing decision-making organ of the continental body for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa.

Kenya has been representing Africa at the United Nations Security Council since January 2021 for one year and will be succeeded by Mozambique for the year 2023.

Having been able to speak on behalf of Africa to come up with reform policies that favour the African continent, Kenya assumed the presidency of the global security organ in the month of October 2021.

Asked about Tigray agreeing to an AU-led peace process and where this decision leaves Kenyatta- Getachew Reda, Advisor to the President of Tigray and one of the key negotiators named by the rebel forces told the Standard that ''he will probably be playing a role in the process''.