The United States has apparently managed to secure the release of Key Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders. Joe Biden pushed Ethiopian PM for a negotiated ceasefire with TPLF
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday said he had what he called a “candid” telephone conversation with United States president Joseph Biden.
The conversation was about strengthening cooperation and engagement based on mutual respect.
Abiy Ahmed tweeted :
“I held a candid phone conversation with @POTUS on current issues in Ethiopia, bilateral relations as well as regional matters. We both agree there is great value in strengthening our cooperation through constructive engagement founded on mutual respect.”
The office of the Prime Minister has released a brief statement saying, among other things,”The two leaders discussed current issues in Ethiopia, bilateral relations as well as regional issues.”
The U.S. president did not remark about the conversation with Abiy Ahmed, at this writing.
Mainstream media outlets, like Reuters, however covered the story from a trajectory of what seems to be advancing TPLF strategic interest in the conflict. According to the source, The U.S. president has expressed “concern” about airstrike in the northern conflict.
The United States’ Embassy in Addis Ababa has published a news update, on Monday, about the conversation between the two leaders, and it sounds a bit different from what the office of the Prime Minister disclosed. The talk rather seem to have stressed more about peace and recondition.
“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia and opportunities to advance peace and reconciliation.”
The United States has been putting pressure on the Ethiopian government, at times under the guise of alleged human rights violation and obstruction of humanitarian activity in the northern Ethiopia, with an apparent political objective to make the TPLF relevant in Ethiopian politics.
There were even claims that the U.S. provided a clandestine military support in the form of provided TPLF leaders with key military intelligence.
On January 7, a day of Ethiopian Christmas, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government abruptly released TPLF war criminals and radical ethnic Oromo nationalist activist, Jawar Mohammed. The leader of Baladera For True Democracy, Eskinder Nega, was also released in what appears to be a move to give the release of criminals an act of Amnesty.
On Sunday, during an inauguration ceremony of the new Ministry of Defence Complex, it became clear that the criminals were released after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government suddenly dropped charges against TPLF leaders.
The release of TPLF criminals happened a day after the U.S. Special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, visited Addis Ababa to meet with Ethiopian authorities including Abiy Ahmed.
The Statement from the U.S. embassy called TPLF criminals “political prisoners.”
It said : “President Biden commended Prime Minister Abiy on the recent release of several political prisoners, and the two leaders discussed ways to accelerate dialogue toward a negotiated ceasefire, the urgency of improving humanitarian access across Ethiopia.”
For some analysts, the phone conversation between Biden and Abiy Ahmed is of political significance to Ethiopia, as it reflects a “power shift about the military condition in Ethiopia.”
For others, it is just a follow-up on the part of the Biden administration to push for a negotiation ceasefire after securing the release of TPLF leaders.
When the TPLF leaders asked for conditional negotiation, one of the demands was the release of TPLF leaders captured during the military operation.
Join the conversation. Follow us on twitter @zborkena to get the latest Ethiopian News updates regularly. Like borkena on Facebook as well. To share information or for submission, send e-mail to email@example.com