JUBA — South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has agreed to mediate the ongoing conflict between the Ethiopian government and Tigray rebels that broke out in November 2020.
South Sudan’s Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth revealed that preparation are underway for President Kiir to mediate the conflict between the Ethiopian government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigray regional government.
“It is worth mentioning that the visit of president (Kiir) to Ethiopia came as a request from Prime Minister of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok who is now the chair of IGAD who requested President Kiir to go to Ethiopia believing that he is the right person to mediate in the Ethiopian conflict,” Makuei told journalists after the weekly cabinet meeting in Juba, capital of South Sudan, Friday.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is the regional body that mediated the 2018 revitalized peace deal to end more than six years of conflict in South Sudan.
According to Makuei, President Kiir on Aug. 26 traveled to Addis Ababa where he met with Abiy Ahmed who convinced him to take on the huge task of mediating an end to the conflict. An estimated 1.7 million people have been displaced since fighting broke out between the Ethiopian government troops and Tigray opposition.
Most of the displaced people are now being sheltered in squalid camps in neighboring Sudan which shares a border with Ethiopia.
Makuei added that Ahmed also requested President Kiir to mediate the ongoing row between Ethiopia and Sudan over al-Fashaga border area.
In 2019, in a bid to distance the country from ethnic federalism and ethnic nationalist politics, Prime Minister Ahmed merged the ethnic and region-based constituent parties of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition and several opposition parties into his new Prosperity Party.The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that had ruled Ethiopia for more than 27 years, however, refused to join the new Prosperity party, thus leading to the outbreak of the conflict.