Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday recounted how the efforts of the African Union’s African Branch led to a peaceful resolution to the two-year civil war in Ethiopia, and that it took the union eight months to broker peace.
Obasanjo disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi.
Obasanjo said the peace movement took him and other African leaders, including former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and former Vice President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa, who were members of the panel, “for eight months of intense shuttle diplomacy, including eight visits. to Mekelle, Tigray the capital” to facilitate peace between the two parties.
Obasanjo, who is the High Representative of the African Branch of the AU, led the peace talks between the Ethiopian Army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
He said that despite the challenges he encountered in trying to broker peace between the parties, he refused to be discouraged.
Obasanjo said: “The destruction caused in the Tigray region, which was the main theater of the war, was very high in terms of human and material losses. It has been estimated that no fewer than 600,000 people died directly in the battle or as a result of disease and lack of access to humanitarian aid.
“Since the start of the civil war in November 2020, local, regional, continental and global efforts have been made to stop the violence and related casualties.
“Efforts of different groups at the national level were made to prevent the war from degenerating. Similar efforts were made at the bilateral and regional levels.
“And when the war started, the friends of Ethiopia and Tigray made greater efforts to stop hostilities, unhindered humanitarian access, restore services and find political solutions to the conflict in Ethiopia.
“Discouraged, I continued with visits, consultations and discussions to initiate dialogue between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the leadership of the Tigray people.
“After five days of intense discussions in Nairobi, Kenya in November, military commanders agreed on modalities to implement a ceasefire agreement.”