Ambassador Mohamoud Dirir Gheddi has served Ethiopia in a myriad of political capacities since the 1990s when he was first elected into the constituent of Assembly. He served four consecutive terms in the House of People’s Representatives, followed by ambassadorial and ministerial appointments. Of his most notable posts is his six-year Ambassadorship to Egypt, his advisory role in the Trilateral GERD Negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan
as well as his efforts brokering the 2019 peace deal in neighboring Sudan. Ambassador Mohamoud Dirir Gheddi currently serves as Commissioner in Ethiopia’s National Dialogue Commission.


Ambassador Dirir is answering these questions not in his current role as Commissioner in Ethiopia’s National Dialogue Commission, rather, in his capacity as a former Diplomat at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and his post as a Special Envoy lead negotiator in Ethiopia’s Mediationefforts in Sudan by mandate of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Horn Review :

What was the rationale in Ethiopia’s offer in mediating between Sudan’s generals, society of academics and experts, as well as the general public?

I think that it would be of vital importance to reflect upon the prevailing situation in Sudan, at that time, to understand the dynamics of the massive popular upheaval against the iron-fisted rule of Al-Bashir. The popular movement led by the Forces for Freedom and Change staged large-scale protests which demanded his removal from power. The protests were not only confined to the capital, Khartoum. The rallies gained momentum from December 2018
onwards, until his removal from power on 11 April 2019.
The military establishment, which was the machine through which Al-Bashir controlled power in Sudan for some three decades took over power at that stage. So, Ethiopia’s role; and indeed, the role of the African Union was to broker a power-sharing deal between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom and Change, to avoid further bloodshed and the collapse of Sudan into the abyss of endless bloodshed and anarchy.
The rationale for Ethiopia’s involvement in bringing an end to the turmoil in Sudan and hopefully ushering in peace is rooted in Ethiopia’s foreign policy, particularly in the Horn. I believe that has been achieved, although, very, unfortunately, it was short-lived.


Were all the parties equally receptive to Ethiopia’s mediation offer?

Looking back at the circumstances and challenging times through which our Sudanese brothers and sisters have been passing through, both parties have positively accepted our role. Most important of all, I should say that the people of Sudan genuinely believed that Ethiopia has come to their rescue.

The so-called issue of “elite
consensus” ultimately ended
up as nothing more than an
“elite power-sharing”


In hindsight, how would you identify the core issues that led to Sudan’s current predicament?

Sudan, like many other African countries, is a victim of its historical baggage. Looking merely at the issue of power, Sudan has witnessed numerous coup d’étas, that in itself shows the complex nature of their political culture. So, the issue of power stands as one serious element that has to be addressed democratically and through democratic means. But it is not the only problem of Sudan for that matter. It remains; however, the central issue, around, which a host of other critical issues revolve. Power is not in the hands of the people and they struggle to attain it,
to this day.


In your view, particularly as a mediator, were there likely spoilers to the process?

No comment. I prefer silence over that issue. However, I shall deal extensively with that in the future, in my


What would you forward as a possible path forward from Sudan’s current governance crisis?

That remains to be answered by the Sudanese people, the intellectuals and youth ( both young men and women), who are craving to live in a better Sudan under a democratic system, that could realize freedom, justice, and peace.


Many are suggesting a National Dialogue process to resolve the current political disarray in Sudan, do you see this as a possible solution to arriving at an elite consensus? If not, what is the other path forward for Sudan?

Sudan has tried “National Dialogue” under AlBashir, but it ended in a fiasco. The so-called issue of “elite consensus” ultimately ended up as nothing more than an “elite power-sharing”. But all these attempts are yet to bring a permanent solution to Sudan’s political questions. I believe that Sudan does not need any “prescribed democratic solutions” from outside. Rather, a sustainable political solution needs to come from within.


Do you believe Sudan’s political elite is in the best posture to conduct a national dialogue??

I believe this question is best addressed to the Sudanese people as I cannot speak on their behalf. I cannot cross that line, since I have great respect for the people of Sudan.