Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali as African Union (AU) mediator fails to dissuade the Guinean president Alpha Condé to abandon his plans for a third term in office
Concerned at the Guinean president’s determination to seek a third term, the African Union with the tacit support of Washington has deployed the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali in Conakry.
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On the evening of 7 January, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was unable to enjoy Genna, the Ethiopian Orthodox Christmas, with his family as he was over 1,000 kilometers away celebrating it in the Guinean capital Conakry on the terrace of the Sheraton hotel. The ceremony was a good means of breaking the ice with his host, the Guinean president Alpha Condé. Abiy, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last October, was there on behalf of the African Union (AU) in the hope of persuading his counterpart to abandon his plans for a third term in office. The two leaders spent much of the evening in a private tête-à-tête next to a huge cake that had been baked specially for the occasion.
Having himself served as chair of the AU from 2017 to 2018, Condé reacted very badly to scarcely veiled criticisms from several African leaders of his domestic political ambitions. To demonstrate his displeasure, in early July 2019 just a few days before the AU annual summit was due to begin in Niamey, he welcomed to Conakry the president of the self-declared state of Somaliland, which is not recognized by the AU.
PM @AbiyAhmedAli concluded his Republic of Guinea visit earlier today where key agreements were made with President Alpha Conde to activate the partnership in the areas of agriculture, tourism, mining and energy. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/gV609S4gMD
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) January 8, 2020
In an attempt to convince Condé that a third term would not be a good idea, Abiy alluded not only to the reservations of his African peers but also to American opposition to his plans. As revealed by the West Africa Newsletter, last September the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo made it perfectly clear to the Guinean president that Washington is opposed to him seeking a third term.
But Abiy’s best efforts foundered on the fact that his host enjoys the unconditional support of Guinea’s two main allies, Turkey and Russia, who have no problem with him bidding for re-election.
Abiy Ahmed Fails To Dissuade Alpha Condé