Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected to meet with envoys – but may not allow his opponents to meet.
Three special peace envoys appointed by African Union President Cyril Ramaphosa are expected to meet with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa this week to discuss ending the country’s three-week-old civil war. But there are fears that Abiy – who has insisted that foreigners should not interfere in Ethiopian internal affairs – will not allow them to meet his Tigrayan enemies in the conflict.
South Africa has helped suspend the UN Security Council’s action on the conflict, giving Ramaphosa’s messengers a chance to find “an African solution to an African problem”, such as a South African diplomat put it.
But Pretoria is worried that the three former African presidents – South Africa’s Kgalema Motlanthe, Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique – could possibly get the “Mnangagwa treatment” from Abiy.
It refers to the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who meets three more envoys who sent Ramaphosa to Harare in August and refuses to allow them to meet the Zimbabwean opposition to address the growing crisis in the country.
It seems that the refusal has effectively ended South Africa …