East African regional body, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has asked South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, to mediate the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia, the East African reports. South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei is quoted as saying: “The chair of IGAD [Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok] requested President Kiir to go to Ethiopia believing that he is the right person to mediate in the Ethiopian conflict.” He said President Kiir’s office had accepted the offer.
As the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region drags on, the World Food Programme (WFP) says it is facing an unprecedented funding gap of U.S.$426 million, as the UN agency ramps up delivery to meet the needs of up to 12 million people this year. The WFP has started delivering emergency assistance to communities in regions bordering war-torn Tigray. So far, the conflict has forced 300,000 people from their homes and 1.7 million into the neighbouring provinces of Afar and Amhara.
Tigray has been wracked by violence since November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray to topple the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the regional ruling party. Ethiopia has always maintained that the move was a response to TPLF’s attacks on the national army’s camps.