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Why Uhuru Skipped AU Peace Talks In Ethiopia

Regarding the peace talks between the African Union and Ethiopia, former President Uhuru Kenyatta has stated that he will not be present. The former leader explained his inability to attend in a letter to African Union chairman Mousa Faki Mahamat, citing a scheduling conflict.

I am writing to inform your excellent office that, due to scheduling issues, I will be unable to attend the AU-convened Peace Talks on October 8, 2022, in South Africa.

However, the former president stated his willingness to attend future meetings of this nature provided he was given adequate notice. After affirming his involvement in the pace, he also made demands on the format and procedures of future negotiations.

"However, while we wait for a new date for the peace talks to be set, I would appreciate it if you could provide additional clarification on the structure and procedures of the talks, including but not limited to the rules of engagement for all the interlocutors invited. My preparations for participation would benefit significantly from this clarity.

President William Ruto gave Uhuru the order on September 13 at his inauguration. "I have requested my elder brother President Uhuru Kenyatta who has done outstanding interactions with those regions and he has graciously consented to continue chairing those meetings on behalf of the people of Kenya," added Ruto.

Uhuru, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, and former South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka were all set to conduct the negotiations. The negotiations are an attempt to bring an end to the rivalry between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray army, which has lasted for two years.

The Ethiopian national Defense Force, Ethiopian federal police, and regional police, with support from the Eritrean Defense Forces, are engaged in combat with the Tigray Defense Forces. Scuffles broke out in 2020 as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed united the EPRDF's ethnic and regional constituent parties with various opposition parties to form his new Prosperity party.

It was all a part of his strategy to wean the country off of ethnic federalism and ethnic nationalist politics. A politically influential group, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which had ruled Ethiopia for 27 years as a brutal state under a one-party dominating system, flatly refused to join the new party.

While the federal government deemed the Tigray election unconstitutional, the TPLF, led by its chairman Debretsion Gebremichael, carried ahead with the poll anyhow in September 2020.


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AU-convened African Union Ethiopia Peace Talks South Africa


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