Kenya's former President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to fly to South Africa for high-level peace talks aimed at ending the Tigray - Ethiopia conflict.
A letter from the African Union dated October 1 seen by Kenyans.co.ke indicated that Uhuru would form part of the panel alongside Olusegun Obasanjo, AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa and former President of Nigeria.
The event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 8.
The talks are aimed at fostering peace between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
"The Peace talks between the two parties, is expected to deliberate on the guiding principles, agenda issues, modalities, format and timelines for the negotiated settlement aimed at laying the foundation for a structured and sustained mediation between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the TPLF, towards durable resolution of the conflict.
"The Peace talks will be facilitated and led by H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa and former President of Nigeria, with the support of a panel of distinguished and eminent Africans. H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, former President of the Republic Kenya, and H.E. Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Member of the AU Panel of the Wise and former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, will serve as panelists for the peace talks process," read the statement in part.
The letter, penned by Moussa Faki Mahamat was addressed to National Regional State of Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael.
If Dr Debretsion confirms his attendance, it will be the highest-level effort to end the war in Ethiopia that has so far claimed thousands of lives.
The Government of Ethiopia already accepted the invitation demanding that the talks should be mediated by the African Union without pre-conditions.
The state also confirmed that it was ready to foster lasting peace.
"The African Union's official invitation is consistent with the Ethiopian Government's prior positions. It is known that the Government of Ethiopia has expressed that, 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 letter dated Wednesday, October 5.
The war, which kicked off in November 2020, has also affected roughly 5 million people who have been left without basic needs including electricity and banking services.
In November 2021, Kenyatta castigated Ethiopian leaders and asked them to move beyond the original cause of the conflict to find a lasting solution.
“It concerns me deeply that after one year, the crisis has not abated but has in fact deteriorated. The fighting has continued, the deaths have accumulated, the displacement persists and suffering and humanitarian emergency has taken root in the country," Uhuru remarked at the time.
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