Jean-Jacques Cornish

No too late to seek peace in Tigray

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Abiy Ahmed doesn’t like being called a warmonger. 

The Ethiopian premier has his Attorney General Gedion Timotios out there telling the international media that his hand has been forced.

“Winning the Nobel Peace Prize doesn’t take away his responsibility as the Commander in Chief,” Timotios tells the BBC’s Hard Talk.

Ahmed is dealing with rebels bent on seizing weapons and taking military control of the north Ethiopia.

“No government anywhere in the world could accept that,” he says.

Pressed on the declaration from Ahmed’s military that there would be no mercy for the people of the Tigray capital Mek’ele, now facing its final onslaught, Timotios attributes this to a Colonel of the line who was actually referring to the leadership of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Forces.

The harsh reality is that there is a raft of frighteningly bellicose statements out there from Ahmed and his forces. 

There is also his admonition to the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union, who have expressed their fear of growing conflict in the Horn of Africa not to interfere.

Evidently Ahmed feels it is his personal responsibility to restore order in Ethiopia.

Anyone seeking peace and stability rather than retribution and revenge would surely appreciate the assistance of the paramount regional and international organisations.

It is not too late.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.