Kiir urged to intervene in Ethiopia’s crisis

Kiir urged to intervene in Ethiopia’s crisis
President Salva Kiir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (photo credit: courtesy)

A legislator has appealed to President Salva Kiir to initiate dialogue between the two warring parties in Ethiopia to end the conflict.

Gen. Salva Mathok Gengdit, who is a Member of Parliament in the Revitalised Transitional National Legislative Assembly, said the crisis in Ethiopia would not have reached the current level if Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali had listened to President Kiir’s call for dialogue with Tigray rebels.

“If (he) Abiy had accepted the advice of President Salva Kiir Mayardit to go for dialogue with Tigray and others, the crisis would not have reached such a situation as many lives lost and properties destroyed with massive displacement as we speak,” Gen. Mathok told The City Review in an interview.

In a statement he posted on his Facebook page, Mathok said he was optimistic and strongly believed that President Kiir could restore peace in Sudan and Ethiopia if given the chance to mediate the conflicts.

According to Gen. Mathok, it was high time for President Kiir to take the necessary steps towards bringing the two parties to accept peace in Ethiopia.

“I am saying this not because South Sudan is peaceful. Though we had a crisis, President Kiir always accepts what it takes to bring the dialogue to the country because he loves peace.”

The politician said the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia is of great concern to South Sudan, adding that Ethiopians have contributed a lot towards South Sudan’s freedom.

“I wish President Salva Kiir Mayardit would stand up for a campaign to stop the crisis in Ethiopia as he did recently in our sisterly country  Sudan.”

Mathok said President Kiir needs to send his delegation to Addis Ababa urgently and initiate diplomatic contacts through the South Sudan Embassy.

“We need President Salva Kiir Mayardit to call the warring parties in Ethiopia to stop the bloodshed and go for negotiations,” Mathok added.

Human rights abuses

The Ethiopian government has been in a long-term conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a secessionist armed faction that champions the separation of the Tigray region.

The war between the Ethiopian Defence Forces (ENDF) and the TPLF has been marred by accusations of human rights violations such as rape, torture, and other forms of sexual violence mostly meted on women and children.

Last week, the TPLF forces were accused by the Human Rights Watch of committing atrocious acts against women when they invaded the Amhara region.

Likewise, the ENDF has also been accused of committing similar acts on Tigray women and cordoning off access areas to block humanitarian aid, condemning the Tigrayans to starvation.

The armed group threatened to invade the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, forcing Dr Abiy to issue a caution to his compatriots to be ready to defend the country with every jot of blood.

The two parties have expressed willingness to engage in ceasefire talks, albeit with hardline conditions that delay a common middle ground.