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Expert proposes South Sudan as the best candidate to mediate Ethiopian crisis

Nov 24, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Dr. Matthew LeRiche, the Director of the Global Leadership Center for Peace Studies, sees South Sudan as the best candidate that can mediate peace talks between the Ethiopia’s federal government and Tigray region claiming that the youngest nation is well positioned to understand Ethiopia’s different ethnic dynamics and internal crises.

Rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny (L) South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardiit (C) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed (R) posting for a photo after the face-to-face meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 20th June 2018 (File photo)
Rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny (L) South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardiit (C) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed (R) posting for a photo after the face-to-face meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 20th June 2018 (File photo)

“As the conflict between Ethiopia’s federal government and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) continues to escalate, calls for mediation have come from around the world.” said Dr. Matthew LeRiche, Director of the Global Leadership Center and the War and Peace Studies Program.

“The question of who could mediate, however, has yet to be answered. The conflict requires an intermediary that is perceived to be honest and credible by both sides, but this rules out far more international actors than it rules in,” Dr. LeRiche added.

According to Dr. Mathew, many countries in Africa, Arab and Western countries are too biased to broker peace between the Ethiopian warring parties with the exception of South Sudan.

“In all this, there is one potential mediator that stands out. Despite being mired in its own civil conflict and peace process, South Sudan may hold the key.” Dr. LeRiche proposed.

The Director of the Global Leadership Center, War and Peace Studies Program outlined four reasons to show why Sudan is the best suited to offer mediation.

According to Matthew, South Sudan is not perceived as a threat or rival by any of the warring parties.

Secondly, he believes that South Sudanese leaders have plenty of experience and understanding of the kinds of ethnic dynamics that underlie the conflict in Ethiopia.

Although South Sudan leaders have failed to mediate their own conflict, which has killed over 400, 000 people since 2013, Dr. LeRiche believes that South Sudanese leaders have learned and gained experience from 4 decades of war and mediations.

“Third, South Sudan has become well-seasoned in peace talks and processes. Having been involved in active deliberations since at least the 1980s, many leaders have a deep knowledge of negotiation and mediation.” Matthew said.

“Moreover, this learning came through an appropriately local prism that may be far more relevant to Ethiopia’s challenges than the experience of other potential international mediators.” he concludes.

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