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End military hostilities now to pave way for dialogue, AU Special Envoy to Ethiopia, Obasanjo urges

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Former Nigerian President and African Union’s Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged sides to the military hostilities in Ethiopia to ceasefire to pave way for dialogue without delay.
Expressing optimism that common ground towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict can be secured, Obasanjo said the interlocutors he had engaged on all sides have stated their wish for peace, security, and stability in Ethiopia.
“I, therefore, appeal to the leadership of all sides to halt their military offensives. This will allow an opportunity for dialogue to continue to progress. Such talks cannot deliver in an environment of escalated military hostilities.
“I am optimistic that common ground towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict can be secured. The interlocutors I have engaged on all sides have stated their wish for peace, security, and stability in Ethiopia,” Persecondnews.com quotes from Obasanjo’s statement after a reconciliation visit to Ethiopia on Sunday.
It is titled, “The statement on the Prospects for Peace in Ethiopia by H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo High representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission  for the Horn of Africa.”
The AU Special Envoy to Ethiopia also stated:” I note the recent statement by the Federal Government of Ethiopia through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 11th November 2021 highlighting the conditions and order of preference of the government with respect to a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
“In my recent engagements in Mekelle with the leadership of the TPLF, their prioritised conditions were similarly presented to me.

“In addition, I have had encouraging meetings with the leaders of Oromia and Amhara regions while I have scheduled to meet with the leadership of Afar region upon my return to Ethiopia.

“I have also met with leaders across the region including the Presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti, South Sudan, Somalia and the leadership of Sudan.

“The main point of difference between the actors is in the means by which they seek to achieve this essential objective, the AU Special Envoy to Ethiopia said
On the situation in the country, Obasanjo, who ruled Nigeria from 1999 when it returned to democracy’s to 2007, said:
“War represents a failure of politics. Thus dialogue remains the only reliable and sustainable avenue to peace. There is no military solution to the conflict and battlefield victory cannot guarantee political stability in Ethiopia.

“I further call on all people of goodwill and leaders in Africa and the international community to continue to support our mediation efforts and to refrain from actions or rhetoric that will, wittingly or unwittingly, worsen the conflict.

 

“I, too, remain dedicated to the cause of peace, and we will continue to work towards this goal, without which human security and development cannot be achieved.”

Obasanjo is currently leading an international push to end the conflict that has consumed tens of thousands of lives and displaced at least two million people.
The octogenarian had left Ethiopia on Thursday after holding series of meetings with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the leadership of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front rebel group.

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