The idea of the Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok might mediate to end the Tigray war is to be welcomed. [See story below]
But it has to be recalled that mediation has been attempted in the past. Indeed, the African Union tried to get talks going less than three weeks after the conflict began on 4 November 2020.
In November 2020 the chair of the African Union, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, agreed to appoint three former African heads of state as mediators. He did so after discussions with the Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work Zewde.
This statement, carried on 21 November, made clear what was agreed.
The current African Union Chair and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed three African “distinguished Statespersons”: Joaquim Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former President of the Republic of Liberia; , former President of the Republic of South Africa – as Special Envoys of the African Union to help to mediate between “the parties to conflict” in Ethiopia, a statement released by the office of the AU Chairperson said.
The statement was released after talks between President Sahle-Work Zewde and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Sahle-Work traveled to South Africa today in “her capacity as Special Envoy of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.”
Sadly, this agreement was all too soon repudiated. Mediation was blocked by Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed almost as soon as it was announced.
This was underlined in an official Tweet.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Kgalema Motlanthe and Joaquim Chissano were allowed to visit Addis Ababa, but were not permitted to travel to Tigray to take up their mission.
One has to ask why PM Hamdock has apparently been given the green light to mediate, when the African Union mediators were not.
Source: Sudan Tribune