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Statement of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of the African Union Commission Peace Ceremony by the Government Of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Statement of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of the African Union Commission Peace Ceremony by the Government Of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

April 23, 2023

- Your Excellency Dr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,

- Your Excellency, Speaker of the People’s House of Representatives,

-Your Excellency, Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs,

-Your Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa,

- Your Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, Former President of the Republic of Kenya, and member of the AU Panel

- Excellency Dr Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, Former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa and Member of the AU Panel,

-Your Excellency Workeneh Gebeyeh, Executive Secretary of IGAD,

-Your Excellency Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa,

-Your Excellencies, members of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

-Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps

- Ladies and Gentlemen,

The moment is very auspicious to speak about peace in this great country, two days after Eid El Fitr, and a week after Orthodox Easter, both key moments to reflect on the power of forgiveness, the power of peace and the importance of the renewal of faith.

So please allow me, at the outset, to thank you for organizing this important event and for inviting the African Union to participate. It is a real honour to be among you today.

Today is about peace. What Ethiopia has experienced to find it. And what we all owe to it, which is Life itself, but also the dignity it gifts to Man. And I believe that the lessons and experience of Ethiopia, apply far beyond its borders. And that is what I would like to touch on briefly with you today. Both the lessons given to us by conflict and those of its resolution.

The African Union is honored to have been part of the extraordinary journey of resolution and peace-building that you have achieved.

Let me thank you most sincerely for the confidence you showed in the African Union, and in so doing, your deep conviction to the principle of finding homegrown African solutions to African problems.

Indeed, it is the duty and the responsibility of the African Union to support Member States silence the guns and resolve conflict through dialogue and compromise.

This duty becomes even more crucial, indeed a moral obligation, as it relates to Ethiopia, a country without which, the Organisation that I have the honour to lead today, would never have been established.

But today my job, is very simple. Because the job is almost done! And it is to sincerely commend the strong LEADERSHIP and the COURAGE shown by the Federal Government, under the able leadership of Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed, and his brothers from Tigray Region, for their common decision to silence the guns in favour of peace and national reconciliation.

I also wish to recognise the eminent members of the AU Panel, former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former deputy president of South Africa, led by His Excellency President Olusegun Obasanjo, AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa. All of them are present here today.

I can not thank them enough for their commitment and hard work in support of the Parties during the talks and the implementation of the Cessations of Hostilities Agreement. And here, let me also express my deep appreciation to the Republic of South Africa, under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, for accepting to host the talks.

I also wish to commend the regional body IGAD, the United Nations and the government of the United States of America, for their active support as Observors to this Process. The African Development Bank was also a key partner, thank you.

We know that much still remains to be done. The process of political dialogue, transitional justice and Disarmement, Demobilisation and Reintegration. But with peace, everything is possible, together with will and determination.

And it is the same will and determination that brought the Parties to the negotiating table to end the war, and begin the road to peace and national reconciliation.

I was personally a witness to this strong will and determination of the Parties as they negotiated a truly Ethiopian-owned process. The courage, wisdom and frankness they displayed during the talks was something I will not forget.

I was also pleasantly surprised that they decided to conduct their talks in Amharic, and in camera, in so doing, owning the process and its outcomes. I look forward to seeing the same candour in the planned National Dialogue, a key component of the implementation to the Agreement. I look forward to the equal inclusion of women in these key processes. 

Your Excellencies,

Ethiopia knows the price of war, and the price of peace. Ethiopia also possesses the collective wisdom and experience to rebuild back better and stronger. It is partly these qualities that have cemented Ethiopia’s credentials as a leader within our Union.

And now more than ever before, the Region needs this leadership from Ethiopia,to also support her neighbors, as you have done so diligently in the past, so that they might also find the road to peacebuilding, security and sustainable development. I’m saying this with my thoughts focussed on the brotherly nation of Sudan, and the possible lessons that its great people can learn from you, the great people of Ethiopia.

The Region and the Continent face many challenges, there is no doubt about it. But as we have seen in the past, our collective strength lies in our collective unity. A people united can never be defeated. The legitimate aspiration and expectation of our peoples, is that we strengthen this unity at national and continental levels. And let me conclude with the wise words of Madiba:

“In the end, reconciliation is a spiritual process which requires more than just a legal framework. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of people.”

Ameseginalehu! Thank you.

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