The African Union has welcomed the avowed commitment of the two parties in the Ethiopian conflict, to the restoration of peace and stability in Ethiopia, following the invitation to the AU-led peace talks due to start soon in South Africa.

On Wednesday, the Ethiopian government accepted an invitation by AU to participate in peace talks aimed at ending a two-year conflict with Tigray forces.

The African Union sent the invitation on Saturday (1st October 2022).

In a statement, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat noted that the peace talks will be conducted through a high level panel of eminent Africans, established purposefully for the Ethiopian peace process.

The panel is led by Olusegun Obasanjo, AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa and former President of Nigeria, along with Uhuru Kenyatta, former President of Kenya, and Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa and Member of the AU Panel of the Wise.

While noting the overriding imperative for peace in the African continent, the Chairperson reposed full confidence in the vast experience and leadership capacity of the distinguished panel members to ensure constructive engagements and dialogue between the parties towards a sustainable, inclusive negotiated settlement to the conflict in Northern Ethiopia.

Furthermore, the Faki commended partners for their continued value-adding support to the AU-led process, and encourages them to strengthen the partnership with the AU to achieve lasting peace in Ethiopia.

He reiterated the call upon the parties to give peace a chance in the supreme interest of all Ethiopian people and for the broader Horn of Africa region.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Government of Ethiopia noted that the talks should only be mediated by the African Union and should be held without any pre-conditions.

“The Government of federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia remains committed to adopting all possible measures to resolve the conflict in a manner that ensures lasting peace, territorial integrity of the country and will continue upholding this commitment.” Read the statement.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s national security adviser Redwan Hussein said on Twitter that the government had “accepted this invitation which is in line with our principled position regarding the peaceful resolution of the conflict and the need to have talks without preconditions”.

By Fred Odanga Azelwa.