Compromise needed in Kampala peace talks

In Summary

• The Ethiopian national army invaded Tigray in 2020 after it held unauthorised regional elections

‍• Now the Tigrayan defence forces have routed the Ethiopian army and have advanced deep into Amhara

The war in Tigray has caused widespread destruction and displaced nearly two million people
The war in Tigray has caused widespread destruction and displaced nearly two million people
Image: AFP

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has called a crisis meeting in Kampala for November 16 to try and forestall the collapse of the Ethipian state. President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to attend along with other East African presidents.

The situation in Ethiopia is certainly critical. Tigrayan and Oromo forces appear to have linked up and to be gradually surrounding the capital Addis Ababa. An ancient kingdom could potentially soon fragment into multiple statelets.

Blame lies on all sides. The Tigrayans precipitated the crisis by holding regional polls in 2020 when the national government had postponed all elections because of Covid.

But, with hindsight, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed over-reacted. Instead of seeking a compromise solution, his government perceived the Tigray elections as an existential threat to the unity of Ethiopia and invaded Tigray to restore the authority of the national government.

That has now become a self-fulfilling prophecy as the Tigray defence forces have penetrated deep into Amhara. Now truly the future of the Ethiopian state is at risk.

When President Kenyatta goes to Kampala, he should emphasise the need for compromise on all sides, but particularly from Abiy Ahmed, who appears determined to fight to the bitter end.

Quote of the day: "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."

Abraham Lincoln
He was is elected US President on November 6, 1860