Some political parties in the rebel-held Tigray region of Ethiopia have condemned the African Union mediation efforts aimed at ending the conflict in the region.
Last weekend the African Union was expected to mediate talks in South Africa. This time, the AU special envoy and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, with the support of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka were to facilitated the peace talks.
Representatives from the European Union, the United Nations, and the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) were expected to attend the talks as observers supporting the AU’s mediation team.
But three parties from the Tigrayan region have described the AU as ill-equipped to help end the conflict between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal government.
The Tigray Independent Party (TIP), the National Congress of Great Tigray (Baytona) and Salsane Weyane Tigray (SaWeT) said in a statement that the postponement of peace talks between the government and the TPLF over the weekend showed the AU was unprepared and unable to lead the negotiations.
They have now urged the United Nations, the US and the European Union to engage the AU to deliver a positive outcome.
They said the “African solution to African problems” stance by the international community had led to the loss of many lives in the conflict.
Representatives from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, and Tigray’s regional capital, Mekelle, have met twice for face-to-face negotiations this year — in Seychelles and Djibouti.
Mediators have also reached out to both parties facilitating indirect talks, but the terms of these talks haven’t been observed and respected.
The conflict has lasted two years and led to the death of thousands of people with around 3 million people internally displaced, according to the United Nations.