Resignation Is the Right and Honourable Thing for President Obasanjo to Do

The glimmer of hope that came from the joint announcement by United States and European Union Special Envoys that negotiations to end the war on Tigray would begin, the siege lifted and humanitarian access fully granted, is now dimmed by the recent relapse to war. The many people who were sceptical about the start of the talks are not surprised by this resumption of the war that will consume many more young lives. Reports of killings of children in Mekelle through indiscriminate aerial bombardment and drone strikes add more setbacks to the commencement of negotiations. A further hindrance has been the insistence that the African Union (AU) mediator, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, remain involved in the process despite the reservations of a key party to the negotiations. In order to prevent further bloodshed, the honourable thing for former president Obasanjo to do is to resign. The AU needs to avoid political wrangling with Tigray about keeping its mediator and instead focus on fast-tracking the appointment of a new envoy who has the approval of all parties, and begin negotiations on substantive politico-military agenda items. As the war on Tigray approaches its second year, Ethiopian, Amhara, and Eritrean forces still control some areas of the region. Legitimately expected and essential public services such as ground and air transportation, electricity, telecommunications, banking services, and fuel deliveries, remain blocked. Humanitarian assistance has been reduced to a trickle despite the readiness of the UN and other agencies to supply aid. It would seem that the aim is to exterminate Tigrayans by starving them to death.

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