In what seem to be rejection of report by Le Monde , Mr. Debretsion, TPLF chairman, said there will be no secret deals with Ethiopian government
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on Wednesday announced that it will take part in a peace talk with the government of Ethiopia and “other parties.” It did not however specify what “other parties” are.
This week Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the negotiations would be between the Federal government of Ethiopia and the TPLF.
In an open letter addressed to several heads of state and the African Union Chairperson, Macky Sall, the TPLF, a party which is said to have started the war when it attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Force, said it has been calling for peace since November 2020.
It said it is ready for a principled negotiation but not for secret deals. The letter did not indicate if there was an offer for a secret negotiation from the government of Ethiopia.
“We are prepared to negotiate for peace consistent with fundamental principles of human rights, democracy, and accountability based upon the positions agreed through the deliberations of the government of Tigray. We are not prepared to make secret deals or bargain away our principles for material inducements,” the letter said.
It came a day after the Ethiopian Prime Minister confirmed to the Ethiopian Parliament his government’s readiness to negotiate to end the conflict in Northern Ethiopia. However, he did not disclose negotiating points.
When the Ethiopian government announced the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, it said, among other things, that the budget is prepared with the assumption that conflict in the Northern part of Ethiopia would be ended through a peaceful negotiation by the next budget year.
Debretsion Gebremichael, chairman of the TPLF, also reflected that his organisation is not negotiating from a point of weakness. “Our readiness to go the extra mile for peace must not be misunderstood as a readiness to abandon our principles from weakness or greed,” he said.
TPLF was critical of the African Union over what it called “silence” in the face of “war and atrocities.”
Not just that, Mr. Debretsion also blamed former Nigerian President and current African Union Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo.
It accused him of “proximity” to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Mr. Obassanjo was seen with PM Abiy Ahmed when the latter was visiting a wheat farm in the Bale area of Ethiopia sometime last week.
Mr. Debretsion expressed “confidence” in mediation facilitated and supported by the government of Kenya and Tanzania. However, it also wants the U.S government, European Union, the United Arab Emirates, and the African Union to be part of the negotiation.
Mr. Debretsion closed his open letter by saying “we shall participate in a credible, impartial, and principled peace process that engages with the parties to the conflict in a serious, inclusive, and considered manner. We stand ready to dispatch a high-level delegation, fully mandated and briefed, to talks convened and hosted by the government of Kenya” the letter said.
A report published by VOA Amharic, on Wednesday, cited Debretsion Gebremichal as saying that there will be no negotiation unless the people of Tigray decide so.
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