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Appointment of AU envoys for Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis an 'initiative for peace': UN chief

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the African Union’s (AU) appointment of three high-level envoys to help resolve the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, calling it an "initiative for peace.”
Former President Joachim Chissano.

The envoys are Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former Liberian President, and Kgalema Motlanthe, former President of South Africa.

They were appointed on Friday by the AU Chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.

In welcoming the decision, the Secretary-General underlined the UN’s support for efforts towards ensuring a peaceful, stable and prosperous Ethiopia, according to a statement issued later that day by his Spokesperson.

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

"He commends the Chairperson of the African Union, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, for this initiative and extends the full support of the United Nations. He also expresses his appreciation to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia for facilitating this initiative for peace,” it said.

More than 30,000 people have fled Tigray region, located in northern Ethiopia, for Sudan in the past two weeks to escape fighting between national and regional forces. 

The UN estimates that up to 200,000 could arrive in the coming months.

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe.