Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, revealed how efforts of the African Union’s Horn of Africa led to the peaceful resolution of the two-year civil war in Ethiopia. Obasanjo, who is the High Representative of the AU’s Horn of Africa, led the peace talk between the Ethiopian Army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The former President disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. Obasanjo said, despite the challenges he and his team encountered while trying to broker peace between the parties they refused to be discouraged.
Obasanjo said, it took him and other African leaders, including former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa who were part of the panel, eight months “intense shuttle diplomacy, including eight visits to Mekelle, Capital of Tigray” to broker peace between the two parties. Obasanjo said: “The destruction caused in the Tigray region which was the main theatre of the war was very high in human and material losses. It has been estimated that no fewer than 600,000 people died directly in battle or as a result of disease and the lack of access to humanitarian aid.
“From the beginning of the civil war in November 2020, there were efforts made at the local, regional, continental and global levels to stop the violence and the accompanying losses. There were efforts by different groups at the national level to prevent degeneration into wars. There were similar efforts at bilateral and regional levels. And when the war began, greater efforts were mounted by friends of Ethiopia and Tigray people to bring about cessation of hostilities, unhindered humanitarian access, the restoration of services, and the search for political solutions to Ethiopia’s conflict.” He, however, warned that the peace agreement must be implemented in good faith to avoid reoccurrence of the crisis.