Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, seems to have hope for a peaceful end to the war in North Ethiopia. TPLF has been preparing for a new round of war
The effort to end the war in North Ethiopia through dialogue is slow but “marching forward,” the 85 years old African Union special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, said.
Mr Obassanjo was in Mekelle this week where he met with Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) chairman, Debretsion Gebremichael.
On Thursday, he travelled to Bale, South Ethiopia, along with Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, and former prime minister Hailemariam Desalgnge.
He was seen along with the Prime Minister in state-owned media coverage of the prime minister’s trip to Bale.
Mr. Obassanjo had been shuttling between Mekelle and Addis Ababa with the aim of bringing about a peaceful end to the war in North Ethiopia which is said to have killed several hundreds of thousands of people.
BBC Amharic cited him as saying that “There is change but it is slow. The situation now is better than the one that existed six months ago.”
He has elaborated on his position. “Now they [the Ethiopian government and TPLF] have made a humanitarian truce. This has to be elevated to a negotiated ceasefire. And that agreement has to transform into a cessation of hostilities. ”
Furthermore, he reportedly said “What we are doing and what we should be doing is to create trust [between warring parties]”
Also, he said, according to the source, that he would like to achieve two things from the negotiation process. Ensuring the delivery of aid and negotiated ceasefire.
Asked if he thinks that a peaceful solution would happen soon, he said ” I do not want to put a time frame for it.” However, he underscored that the African Union pays utmost attention to the war in Ethiopia.
On the other hand, the government of Ethiopia and Eritrea have said that the TPLF has been mobilising for another round of war.
Likewise, the Amhara region of Ethiopia said, last month, that the TPLF is preparing for war and ordered security forces in the region to be on standby.
It is to be recalled that TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael wrote an open letter to the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, claiming that the peaceful option to end the conflict did not work and that the TPLF would have to resort to something else.
Earlier this week the TPLF was accusing Eritrea of shelling the border town of Sheraro but the Eritrean government did not remark on it.
But there were reports from local sources in Ethiopia that the TPLF attempted to attack Eritrea but lost battles with heavy casualties.
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