Unlike the Ethiopian government which is adhering to “African Solutions to African Problems” creed, the TPLF rejects AU as the only mediator
Getachew Reda, the spokesperson for Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF), reportedly said that the organisation has set up a negotiating team for the talks with the Ethiopian government.
Getachew Reda reportedly told AFP “We will be ready to send a delegation to Nairobi… and have established a team with high-ranking members.”
However, the names of the TPLF officials are unspecified.
The Ethiopian government has named a negotiating team under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Demeke Mekonnen. It had its first meeting about the negotiation sometime last week.
Ethiopia’s intelligence chief (Temesgen Tiruneh), Security advisor to the Prime Minister (Redwan Hussien), and Gideon Timoteos (Minister for Justice) are among the members of the negotiating team.
There is one clear difference from the outset between the negotiating parties. The Ethiopian government wants only the African Union to be a mediating party.
On the other hand, the TPLF rejects that idea. The AFP cited Getachew Reda as saying “It would be very irresponsible for us to submit all negotiating processes to the AU.”
Among other players, the TPLF wants Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to be part of the mediation. The ethnic Tigray Party has expressed its stand that it has lost confidence in the African Union due to what it calls “proximity” to Ethiopian authorities.
It was specifically making a reference to AU envoy to the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo, who had been shuttling between Mekelle and Addis Ababa, to facilitate a negotiated ceasefire.
In an earlier open letter by the TPLF chairman, Debretsion Gebremichael, the TPLF said it wants the USA and European Union to be part of the mediation.
In a related development, Getachew Reda reportedly said that there could be a referendum in Tigray. It is deciding, as reported by Ethiopian Media Service, whether Tigray should form an Independent state or form a confederation with Ethiopia.
Last week, the Ethiopian government announced that it has agreed that the United Nations Office for Project Services – UNOPS – undertake the rebuilding of infrastructure in the Tigray region. It is a project to be financed by a $300 million grand from the World Bank.
The agreement is that the Ethiopian government will overtake the project when the “situation in Tigray improves”
The conflict between the Federal government of Ethiopia and the TPLF broke out in November 2020 when the latter attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Force.
The war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions including in the Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia.
To share information or for submission, send e-mail to email@example.com
Telegram Channel : t.me/borkena
Join the conversation. Follow us on twitter @zborkenato get the latest Ethiopian News updates regularly.Like borkena on Facebook as well. To share information or for submission, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org