Why Kenyatta is visiting Mekele, the Tigray Capital with 32 Diplomats

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/HP

After a successful meeting of Ethiopian government representatives and Tigrayan officials in Nairobi last week, former Kenya President and mediator of the Ethiopian Peace Uhuru Kenyatta is today in Tigray’s capital Mekele, with the African Union’s monitoring and verification team to check on the implementation of the Ethiopian peace deal.

During the last week’s meeting, both sides agreed to give the monitoring and verification team of the African Union full access, a full 360-degree viewpoint to ensure all the elements of the agreements are actually being implemented.

Mr. Kenyatta is accompanied by Olusegun Obasanjo, AU Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary of IGAD, who is presenting the Ethiopian government side as well as diplomats from 32 countries.

The war began in November 2020 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray after accusing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party in the region, of attacking army bases.

Estimates of casualties vary widely, with the United States saying that as many as half a million people have died. The conflict has also unleashed one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters in recent times.

More than two million people have been displaced, hundreds of thousands have been driven to the brink of famine and around 13.6 million people are dependent on humanitarian aid, according to United Nation figures. Of these, 5.4 million are in Tigray, seven in Amhara, and 1.2 million in Afar.

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