The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is asking for Security arrangements for its negotiators and travel arrangements to South Africa. Ethiopian Government says the Peace talk should happen without any preconditions
The Ethiopian government on Wednesday announced that it has accepted the African Union Peace talk that is scheduled to take place in South Africa.
It is expected to take place this weekend. There were reports that the peace talk would take place in neighboring Kenya. It is unclear why the African Union picked South Africa.
It is also known at this point that the African Union special envoy to the Horn of Africa, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, will be leading the peace talk.
Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngeuka, former deputy president of South Africa who had also served as a United Nations official, are part of the talk on behalf of the African Union.
Ethiopia’s Ministry for Government Communication Service said “…The African Union’s official invitation is consistent with the Ethiopian Government’s prior positions. It is known that the Government of Ethiopia has expressed that, talks should only be meditated by the African Union and should be held without any pre-conditions…”
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s security advisor, Redwan Hussien, conveyed a similar message, as expected. He tweeted: “The GoE has accepted this invitation which is inline with our principled position regarding the peaceful resolution of the conflict and the need to have talks without preconditions.”
Although the Ethiopian government maintains the position that the negotiation has to be African Union-led, there are reports from EMS Ethiopian news that the U.S. special envoy to the Horn of Africa is heading to South Africa. However, it is confirmed that the United States will not have a direct role in the talk.
TPLF accepted invitation to peace talk
The TPLF on Wednesday announced that it has accepted the peace proposal. In a letter addressed to the African Union chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, Debrestion Gebremichal said “…The government of Tigray is ready to participate in the proposed peace talk in South Africa…”
However, Mr. Debrestion cited that his organization was not consulted about it and asked for clarification if there are other parties to be involved as mediators, observers and guarantors. He also asked what the role of the “international community” would be in the peace talk.
TPLF also asked for clarification about logistics including travel and security arrangements for the negotiating team.
TPLF had been rejecting African Union led peace talk for many months. In the past two weeks, the rebel group reportedly suffered crushing defeats to the point that it announced withdrawing from Kobo.
It is for the first time for Ethiopian government officials and TPLF leaders to meet directly after the TPLF ordered its forces to attack the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force nearly two years ago – an incident that triggered the bloody war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
The war also caused the destruction of properties and infrastructures worth hundreds of billions of birr. According to the latest research-based findings in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, the damage in the region is estimated to be 292 billion birr.
The Afar region of Ethiopia has suffered similar destruction. The TPLF forces controlled much of the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia after the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral ceasefire in July 2021 and withdrew from the Tigray region.
Reactions to the Peace talk
Most Ethiopian activists who express their views on social media tend to reject negotiation with the TPLF. They think TPLF, a designated terrorist organization, should disarm and its leaders should face justice for the atrocities they committed against the Ethiopian Defense Force.
But there are also voices that call for a safe passage for TPLF leaders and for its forces to disarm, and resort to a peaceful life.
Former United States Assistant Secretary of State For Africa, Herman Cohen, seems to advise the TPLF to adjust their expectations from the peace talk.
He said: “During upcoming Ethiopia-Tigray mediation talks in SouthAfrica, key question will be continued existence of TPLF as ruling political entity in Tigray. Addis is unlikely to offer more than amnesty and safe passage”
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I wish the mediators and above all the citizens who took the brunt of the suffering from this idiotic conflict the best of luck from this planned peace talk. It is believed that more than 100,000 people mostly the youth have perished in this bloody fracas. Nobody should be proud of this. Millions have lost everything they had and they are left now with no roofs over their heads. Just think about it. What did the people in Tigray gain from this stupid war? Nothing and worse yet they lost their loved ones and everything they had. They have been living a shaken up deer life. They are not sure if they will live to see another day. Their loved who they sent to the battle fields and those who survived have come back home with mangled limbs and lifetime emotional scars. While they are facing all these tragedy their leaders had their loved ones whisked away to safety well before the start of the conflict. Where are Debre’s children(if has children) and loved ones? Where are the children and loved ones of those leaders of the TPLF? Yes sir! Where are they? But that is not the priority question now. Let’s hope for the best out of this planned peace talk.
My two homeboys Debre and Chubby Getachew gave me a buzz this after and told me how excited about their pending trip to Pretoria where PM Abiy will sign the instruments of his surrender to the ‘Country of Tigray’. They told me that they will be greeted by a huge crowd in South Africa. 1 million in Pretoria, 5 million in Johannesburg and 2.5 million in Durban are expected to welcome them. That is because, they told me, TPLF was the army that liberated South Africans from Apartheid. After the peace cord is signed PM Abiy will be allowed to leave the country and an abandoned building is ready for him in DC. That was what they told me.
Kenyatta withdrew from the proposed talk in South Africa, listing his preconditions for participating in the talks, which are identical to the junta’s own preconditions.
No stopping of whipping the Tigres tribalists, in the language they practice and understand. Kenyatt’s letter to the AU clearly indicates the position of the junta, and hence the honorable ex-president of Kenya should recluse himself from any future talks with the tribalists.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian forces should continue to forcefully eject all Tigre fighters from the Amhara land, and push them back to their own region, effectively encircling them 360 degrees from all edges of Amhara land. Concurrently, selected targets in Tigrai should continue to be surgically hit from the air to degrade the fighting ability of the junta and eventually destroy the terrorist organization.
Tigres who purportedly were subjugated by the terrorist for nearly five decades should next grab the opportunity to revenge by clearing the junta leftover trashes and tentacles from their midst, if they truly wish to live normal lives as in the rest of the country. Forget “cease fire, negotiations, establishment of all-inclusive government”, etc. Those are cover ups to save the terrorists by their backers such as America and fronts like Kenyatta, European whites, and Egypt.