Former President Kgalema Motlanthe says the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region could have been avoided. Speaking on the sidelines of the conferment of his honorary doctorate by Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, Motlanthe said stakeholders were encouraged to open dialogue to iron out critical issues.
The former President, once assigned by African Union to bring warring parties under one roof, is clear about his standpoint.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was given a fair warning of the possible conflict in Tigray before it imploded a year ago.
Motlanthe was an African Union (AU) Special Envoy to Addis Ababa. “We tried telling Prime Minister had potential to escalate. he refused to see it as such, and he saw it as a matter of law enforcement that they identified 60 criminals more than a year. They face conflict that will spiral into a civil war,” says Motlanthe.
He says it’s extremely concerning that the conflict between the Northern region and the capital seems to be escalating instead.
Speaking to the SABC, Motlanthe says stakeholders were encouraged to open dialogue to try to iron out critical issues:
Motlanthe has warned about far-reaching implications if the fighting does not come to an end.
“Ethiopia has a population of 110 million. if it implodes it would have a negative effect on the neighbouring countries as well,” Motlanthe adds.
Nearly a million people are facing food insecurity in Tigray and millions have been displaced because of the instability.
Motlanthe has also appealed for humanitarian aid to be given to those who are vulnerable in Tigray as the region’s ruling party has blocked all international assistance from coming in.
The former President would like to see Tigray People’s Liberation Front and Ethiopia’s federal government sit down and engage in a dialogue.
VIDEO: Ethiopia to work with the AU to solve the conflict in the Tigray region