- South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa, August 26, 2021 (ENA photo)
September 5, 2021 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has agreed to mediate the ongoing conflict between the Ethiopian government and Tigray rebels, a senior official disclosed.
South Sudan’s Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth said preparations are underway for Kiir to mediate the conflict between the Ethiopian government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigray regional government.
“It is worth mentioning that the visit of president (Kiir) to Ethiopia came as a request from Prime Minister of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok who is now the chair of IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] who requested President Kiir to go to Ethiopia believing that he is the right person to mediate in the Ethiopian conflict,” he told reporters in the capital, Juba on Friday.
According to the minister, when Kiir traveled to Ethiopia last month, he was received by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who accepted Kiir’s mediation offer and also requested that the latter mediates Ethiopia’s border disputes with Sudan.
“You know very well that Ethiopia had been at war with itself. The Tigray has been fighting the government, this is what they called Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). This was the body that was fighting the government,” he stressed.
According to official estimates, more than 2 million people have been internally displaced in Ethiopia, while tens of thousands have fled into neighboring Sudan.
Most of the displaced people, aid agencies say, are now being sheltered in squalid camps in neighboring Sudan which shares a border with Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which ruled Ethiopia for 27 years until 2018, have been fighting since November last year.