Peace talk between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF expected to start this month
In May of this year, there was an unconfirmed report that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) during his visit to Nigeria. The Ethiopian government dismissed the story as unfounded in the same week.
This week, a story by AFP indicated that former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who is special envoy of the African Union for East Africa, reported to the African Union Peace and Security Council, last month, that TPLF and the Ethiopian government had direct talks.
The time frame was unspecified.
The Peace and Security Council of The African Union disclosed that it “Commends the AU High Representative for the direct engagements between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF); and requests the AU Commission to mobilize all required resources to further enhance the peace-making efforts of the High Representative.”
It also vowed to continue to support Mr. Obasanjo’s “efforts until lasting peace, security and stability is restored in Ethiopia.” The U.S. government has also expressed commitment to support Mr. Obassanjo’s effort.
Whether TPLF is playing reverse psychology or now is unclear at this point, but it was making claims that Mr. Obassano is close to the Ethiopian government and that he should not lead the negotiation.
Instead, the TPLF expressed interest in a mediation facilitated by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be handing over power to President-elect Raila Odinga.
The Ethiopian government said the negotiation should be under the African Union.
In a letter the TPLF released sometime in May this year, it said it wants the United States and the European Union to be part of the negotiation.
The TPLF also, in a recent statement through the spokesperson, said that it wants what it calls “Western Tigay” back before the peace talks.
Mary Catherine Phee, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs of the United States, is said to have stated last week that the peace talk will start soon.
The war in Ethiopia started in November 2020 when the TPLF attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force. In March this year, the Ethiopian government declared a Humanitarian ceasefire.
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