Former President Uhuru Kenyatta has opted out of the peace talks on the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia. The immediate former president was set to preside over the peace talks scheduled for Saturday, October 8, in South Africa.Uhuru wrote a letter to African Union Chairman, Mousa Faki, notifying him that he would be engaged and had other assignments to handle.
“Regrettably, I wish to notify your good office that I will not be able to attend the AU-Convened Peace Talks scheduled for October 8, 2022, in South Africa owing to conflicts in my schedule.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at Bole Airport on June 8, 2021.THE EAST AFRICAN”I thank you for your dedication to the Pan-African call for peace in our continent. Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,” Uhuru signed the letter as Kenya’s peace envoy.
He further asked the mediators to consider rescheduling the peace talks, stating that he would be grateful to receive further clarity on the structure and modalities of the talks, including but not limited to the rules of engagement for all the interlocutors invited.
The clarification, he stated, would prepare him for his engagement and participation.”Furthermore, as we discuss the agenda for the talks, I hope that among the most urgent issues high on that agenda will be the immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities.”This silencing of the guns is particularly important to avail the right conditions for the consultations and negotiations while alleviating human suffering and allowing for continued access to humanitarian assistance,” he explained. Uhuru, along with former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, former South Africa’s Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was set to mediate between the warring Ethiopian government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).The two differing parties had already agreed to the peace talks. The team was expected to fly to South Africa on Sunday, October 8, for the first rounds of discussions. This would have been Uhuru’s first assignment since handing over power to his successor, William Ruto.