AU-led Ethiopian Peace Talks Face Delays Over Logistics
The proposed African Union-led peace talks, scheduled to take place over the first weekend in October with the intention of ending the two-year conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray area, have been postponed due to logistical issues. Reuters announced the peace talk delay after receiving notification from two diplomatic sources on Friday, October 7.
The African Union (AU) invited the rival Tigray regional forces and the Ethiopian government to talks in South Africa on Wednesday, October 5th. The meeting would have been the first official negotiation between both parties since the conflict broke out in November 2020.
Thousands of civilians have died and millions have been uprooted as a result of the fighting in Africa’s second-most populated country.
The diplomatic sources, who requested anonymity, stated that logistics planning was the reason for the postponement and that a new date had not yet been set.
Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), claimed the AU did not engage Tigrayan officials before sending out the invitations.
In a text message, Reda said, “You don’t just expect people to show up on a certain date as if this was some kind of get-together.”
Both Legesse Tulu, a spokesman for the Ethiopian government, and Ebba Kalondo, a spokesman for the AU, declined to comment.
According to one of the AU’s invitation letters seen by Reuters, the negotiations will be led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, the AU’s high representative for the Horn of Africa, with assistance from former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.