Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he will not attend the African Union peace talks on the Ethiopia crisis.
Uhuru rejects invitation to high-level talks in South Africa
This would have been Uhuru’s first international duty after being appointed as Kenya’s special envoy by President William Ruto.
The talks had been organised by AU Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat in South Africa on Saturday, October 8 and Kenyatta was listed as one of the facilitators alongside South Africa's former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
This would have been Uhuru’s first duty after being appointed as Kenya’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes Region by President William Ruto.
However, in a letter to the AU chair, Kenyatta said that the date set for the talks clashed with his schedule and would not attend.
“Regrettably, I wish to notify your good office that I will not be able to attend the AU-Convened Peace Talks scheduled for October 8, 2022, in South Africa owing to conflicts in my schedule.
“However, in the interim and as you consider the possibility of another date for the peace talks, I would be grateful to receive further clarity on the structure and modalities of the talks, including but not limited to the rules of engagement for all the interlocutors invited,” the retired president wrote.
He said the clarification would go a long way in helping him prepare for his engagement and participation.
The retired head of state expressed his hope that among the most urgent issues the parties will deliberate on is the immediate and unconditional cessation of hostility between Ethiopia and Tigray.
He explained that the cessation of gunfire will provide the right conditions for the consultations to take place.
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