Erstwhile Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and other African leaders has been honoured for his role in fostering a peaceful agreement in Ethiopia’s northern region.
The Ethiopian government facilitated the appreciation program in collaboration with other stakeholders.
The day’s theme was ‘Enough with war, let’s sustain peace’.
Other African leaders awarded and recognized during the ceremony were Moussa Faki Mahamat of the African Union Commission, Mlambo-Ngcuka, the former DP, South Africa, and Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigerian President.
Speaking at the event, Kenyatta commended the Ethiopian people for their dedication to finding lasting solution to peace afor the Tigray region.
He said that this is an indication that Africa is capable of resolving her problems.
“The commitment displayed, and the African Union leadership has proven we can resolve our problems.
“The happenings in Ethiopia is a demonstration that Africa is capable of amicably working out its problems,” he said
A peaceful resolution to the conflict was realized in Pretoria, South Africa, through a Peace Agreement on November 2, 2022.
In this agreement, regional forces from Tigray and the Ethiopian government agreed to cease aggressions.
This was an unexpected diplomatic breakthrough after almost two years of war.
Also present at the occasion were Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister and Getachew Reda, the interim President of the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front).
The conflict in Tigray erupted in November 2020. This was after an attack on Tigrayan troops by the Ethiopian army.
Tigrayan troops had captured military headquarters in Mekelle, Tigray region capital, in northern Ethiopia.
However, this was just part of the problem, as there has been a deep-rooted power tussle between Ethiopian communities where the federal system is ethnic-based.
The TPLF was a significant player in the coalition that governed Ethiopia for 30 years.
When Abiy Ahmed was appointed Prime Minister in 2018, it brought to an end the domination of TPLF.
In retaliation, TPLF refused to join the government formed by Abiy as it was left out of the new administration.
The cabinet formed by Abiy brought to an end a regional dispute with Eritrea. Eritrea has border feuds with Tigray going back many years.
Prime Minister Abiy also initiated political reforms, which the TPLF perceived as contradicting Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism.
These tensions intensified into a civil war after Tigrayan authorities planned a regional election in 2020.
This was despite the decision of the central government to suspend elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Armed groups from Eritrea, army forces and Ethiopia provinces near Tigray joined the conflict.
Troops from all factions intentionally prevented humanitarian access and perpetrated atrocities against civilians.
During his inauguration on September 13 2022, newly elected President Ruto appointed his predecessor as a peace envoy in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region.
This continued what Kenyatta did as President when he chaired the region’s peace interventions.
The conflict in northern Ethiopia found a peaceful resolution through the Peace agreement signed November 2 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa, where the Ethiopian government and the regional forces from Tigray agreed to cease hostilities, a surprise diplomatic breakthrough after nearly two years of war.
The Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) interim President Getachew Reda also graced the occasion alongside other government and Tigray officials.
“The commitment displayed, and the African Union leadership has proven we can resolve our problems.”Uhuru Kenyatta
Former President of the Republic of Kenya