Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson of the President of South Africa, described the TPLF as “Tigray” while talking about Ethiopian Peace talk.
There has been a concerted effort by the United States and the European Union to portray the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels as government entities.
At times the TPLF is described as the “Government of Tigray” and at other times it is described as “Tigrean authorities.”
Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson of the President of South Africa, conveyed a similar message. When briefing the media, on October 25,2022, regarding the peace talk in South Africa between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF representatives, he portrayed the TPLF as “Tigray.”
Mr. Vincet Mgwenya stated “South Africa is hosting peace talks to end the conflict in the Tigray region. In this regard, President Ramaposa is honored that the government of the Republic of South Africa has been requested to host the African Union-led peace talks between the government of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and Tigray[emphasis added].” ( You may watch video below starting from 9:27 minutes)
It is unclear if the description used by the spokesperson reflects the position of the government of South Africa. If so, it may constitute an indication that South Africa is used by the United States government.
The African Union has released a statement about the commencement of the peace talk and its disclosure correctly describing the TPLF for what it is – TPLF. However, its description of the government of Ethiopia is a little inaccurate as could be seen from the image of the letter below.
The Ethiopian government has not yet reacted to South Africa’s description of TPLF as “Tigray.”
The United States has been recently claiming that it is “supporting the African Union-led peace talk.”
Many Ethiopians, on the other hand, think that the United States and the European Union have been attempting to make the TPLF relevant political actors in Ethiopia.
The reason is, as many Ethiopians seem to think, that the TPLF is a mercenary force and loyal to its western masters.
This past Saturday, massive demonstrations were organized across Ethiopia to condemn the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Western Interference in the international affairs of Ethiopia.
In the United States and Europe, Ethiopians and Eritreans organized protests to condemn western support for the TPLF.
Some TPLF supporters have started tweeting “Tigray” in a way to connote that the peace talk is between the Ethiopian government and “Tigray.”
And it does not seem to be noticed by Ethiopian activists.
Haile Gebrselassie, one of Ethiopia’s legendary long-distance athletes and Olympic gold medalist, seems to be concerned about the peace talk.
He told DW Amharic that “Ethiopia without Tigray is unthinkable.” For him, Ethiopia as a country has to be a priority in the peace talk. He is implying Ethiopia’s existence and territorial integrity should not be questioned.
The African Union peace talk is expected to end on October 30th. Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is currently serving as African Union high representative for the Horn of Africa, former South African Deputy President, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka and former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta are facilitating the talk.
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