The chairman of the African Union (AU) and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said late Friday that African nations are deeply concerned about the conflict in Ethiopia.
Ramaphosa made the statement while meeting Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, who paid a visit to South Africa as Special Envoy of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Zewde briefed Ramaphosa about the conflict between the Tigray and armed forces.
Fighting for nearly two weeks has destabilized the East African nation, with reports of several deaths.
“President Ramaphosa expressed his deep desire that the conflict should be brought to an end through dialogue between the parties,” the AU chair said in a series of tweets.
– AU appoints special envoys
Ramaphosa informed Zewde he appointed three distinguished statespersons as special envoys of the body who will travel to Ethiopia to help mediate between parties.
These include former President of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano; Madame Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa.
“The primary task of the Special Envoys is to engage all sides to the conflict with a view to ending hostilities, creating conditions for an inclusive national dialogue to resolve all issues that led to the conflict, and restoring peace and stability to Ethiopia,” said the AU chair.
He said Ethiopia occupies a place of pride and honor in the history of Africa, having successfully resisted colonialism and played a leading role in the decolonization of Africa.
It is also the headquarters of the African Union, a symbol of the continent’s unity, he said.
“It is against this background that the ongoing conflict is a matter of great concern not only for countries in the region of the Horn of Africa, but for the continent as a whole,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the special envoys are to help the fraternal people of Ethiopia find a solution to current problems, in the spirit of solidarity, guided by the dictum of “African solutions for African problems.”