The African Union has appointed former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as the head of its mediation mission in the war in Tigray. But all indications are that the mission has failed in advance.
Three days after the appointment of the former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, as representative of the African Union in the Horn of Africa with the mission of “promoting peace, security, stability, and political dialogue” and by “Therefore to lead the mediation in the war in Tigray”, the spokesperson for the rebels stepped up to the plate.
In a tweet posted on Sunday, Getachew Reda said: “It would be naive to think that this mission could work” before denouncing the “bias” of the continental organization.
“Solving a crisis requires at least the recognition of the existence, if not the importance, of a problem. We find it hard to understand how we can expect a constructive role from an organization that has given full meaning to the word bias,” he wrote.
When one considers this position of the Tigrayans and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visceral opposition to any attempt to mediate between him and those he considers terrorists, one wonders if the African Union mission has failed before it has even begun.
How will Obasanjo get two sides that clearly do not want to talk to each other to sit around a negotiating table, one of which considers the organization he represents to be biased in this matter?
The mission seems impossible. But then, what cards does the African Union really hold to make the Ethiopian brothers listen? Economic sanctions or diplomatic measures?
To be continued