Fresh Details Emerges on Uhuru’s last minute withdrawal from AU Peace Envoy on Ethiopia Conflict

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday, 7th October wrote a letter to the AU on his decision to skip the Ethiopian peace talks that were to take place in South Africa this Saturday.

In a letter sent to African Union President Mohammed Faki, Uhuru said that he will not attend the talks because the event conflicted with his schedule.

“Regrettably, I wish to notify your good office that I will not be able to attend the AU-Convened Peace Talks scheduled for October 8, 2022 in South Africa owing to conflicts in my schedule,” the former president said.

The former president however asked the African Union to give him clarity and modalities of the talks going forward to facilitate his preparations and participation.

“However, in the interim and as you consider the possibility for another date for the peace talks, I would be grateful to receive further clarity on the structure and modalities of the talks, including but not limited to the rules of engagement for all the interlocutors invited,” Uhuru further said.

A section of political analysts and politicians have already weighed in on Uhuru’s last minute decision to skip the event considering that he was recently appointed by President Ruto to lead the peace initiative.

Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi is suspicious of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s withdrawal from African Union peace talks in Ethiopia.

In a statement shortly after Uhuru’s letter to African Union chairman Mousa Faki Mahamat emerged, Ngunyi said the flow of events has the hallmarks of a foul play.

“Things don’t add up about President Uhuru Kenyatta failing to attend the Ethiopia-Tigre mediation in SA,” he said in a tweet on Friday.

“One, Ruto visits Ethiopia this week and meets Prime Minister. Two, when he returns, the US Special envoy to the Horn meets him at State House as the new mediator. Add the Math.”

Secondly, the letter from AU structured that former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, the African Union’s High Representative for the Horn of Africa, would lead the negotiations with support from former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former South African deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.(Reuters). It’s alleged Uhuru was not consulted prior to the arrangement.

According to analyst Lee Makwiny, Kenya Kwanza has been keen on isolating Raila Odinga and if Uhuru would have accepted the role, he would have played into William Ruto’s game plan.

Makwiny said, by appointing Uhuru for the peace envoy job, Ruto also wanted to make the former president report to him. Ruto’s intention was to be superior to Uhuru.

He also said the Rigathi Gachagua factor might have contributed a lot in Uhuru’s decision. The second in command has always been attacking and haranguing Uhuru and his administration, yet the whole of Africa was watching. Gachagua’s remarks might have angered Uhuru such that he even boycotted the Statehouse luncheon on the fateful day.

Lee Also believed that the Ruto’s Thursday visit to Ethiopia could also have played a huge role in Uhuru’s last minute decision. The head of state visited Ethiopia to attend the launch of Safaricom Ethiopia. The visit might have changed Ruto’s interest and now Uhuru saw no need of taking up the role. Uhuru could also have used the opportunity of Ruto’s visit to convey his apology for missing the peace talks.

The AU peace talks aimed at ending the two-year conflict between Ethiopia’s government and the rival Tigray forces.

Here are some reactions from Kenyans

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *