Ethiopia Sets Out Terms of Possible Talks with Tigray Rebels

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Ethiopia on Thursday outlined conditions for possible talks with rebels from the country’s war-hit Tigray region, following days of frantic diplomatic efforts by international envoys to head off another surge in fighting.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has been locked in a year-long war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has pushed south in recent months and not ruled out a possible march on the capital Addis Ababa.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti told reporters that one of the conditions for possible talks — which he stressed have not been agreed to — would be for the TPLF to withdraw from the Amhara and Afar regions bordering Tigray.

“In order for there to be a peaceful solution, they say it takes two to tango,” Dina said.

“There are conditions: First, stop your attacks. Secondly, leave the areas you have entered [Amhara and Afar]. Third, recognize the legitimacy of this government,” he said.

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“By the way, don’t misunderstand, it’s not being said a decision has been made to enter into negotiations,” he added.

TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda told AFP at the weekend that pulling out from Amhara and Afar before talks begin is “an absolute non-starter.”

The TPLF is demanding the end of what the U.N. describes as a de facto humanitarian blockade on Tigray, where hundreds of thousands of people are believed to be living in famine-like conditions.

International envoys have in recent days stepped up efforts to broker a cessation of hostilities.

Jeffrey Feltman, U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa, left Ethiopia on Wednesday following several days of meetings there and in neighboring Kenya, according to officials briefed on his movements.

Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, the AU’s special envoy for the region, was due to leave Thursday after a final meeting with Abiy, the officials said.

He has also recently travelled to the Tigray capital Mekele to meet TPLF leaders.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Obasanjo on Wednesday and offered “strong support” for his mediation efforts, the State Department said.

He voiced hope that there was a “window” for progress.

Yet it is far from clear how major gaps between the two sides can be bridged

VOA

7 Comments

  1. Not so fast. I don,’t think TPLF gangs interest to be part of any reasonable negociations or civilized resolution now. The only language.they understand is the barrel of the gun. And that position is particularly attractive for them sincè they are occupying vast area of the Amhara Region for tesorces needs ans other political ans strategic interests. As for threats to marché to Addis,it is bluff. Their hope is pinned on the Oromos to usé momentarily and misuse later as usual. Abiy régime must be pragmatic now and réconcilie with Oromo opposition, their leaders and should release all of them to déprive viable options from Woyane’s Schème.

  2. This administration if you call it that way is the most disorganized and loose you could ever imagine in any country in the world. First you do not put out precondition for negotiation that do not have legal weight as approved already by the executive and the parliament. It is a subject matter that one ministry alone let alone one person alone can give or should give opinion on. Unless the minister is a puppet of the PM and the PM is testing the waters of public opinion. In any case if it materialize is nothing far from approving and sitting with those who planned the massacres of ENDF on Nov 2020 and the MaiKadra, The Afsar 200+ deaths , the number of killings in Amahara region including those 200 pluses just in one day in Kombolcha. It also is not clear on what basis the minister Laya out his precondition when you do not have the upper hand in the ground as the same Ethiopian government decided to bring the war I’m Amahara and Afar regions and out of Tigray. The federal forces deliberately are not allowing and not facilitating to even Amahara and Afar forces to take the war back to Tigray and only now when they are in the doorsteps of Oromia they talk about negotiation points like the other ravage regions by TPLF are not Ethiopian. If you what to put out negotiation points first take over back the TPLF stronghold hunt for all those who are masterminds of all the death and destruction and then you can negotiate with the TPLF for its peaceful dissolution as long this mafia organization is around Ethiopians can never sleep safe or work toward development. And not only TPLF but also this ethnic system that the PP is galloping on should also be dismantled. That is the next account the Ethiopian people need to clear after dealing with TPLF. This sick government think ethnic based organization and policies that is destroying our country and our people is good for Ethiopia but is not good for Eritrea which is also multiethnic. And that alone should make Ethiopians to putthis government on their lenses.

  3. No way on earth to see negotiate with a well known Satan. Those criminal group that are responsible for the many massacring’s of thousands and thousands of innocent Ethiopians.

    Decisive and skillful leadership is a must. That can also be accomplished by inviting former fighters, leaders and people with extensive experience.

    The war has taken long time that it should and TPLF must be cleared out of Amhara and Afar regions by with the involvement and participation of all other zone forces. PM Abiy should haste and not waste any more time and must safe people’s live.by ordering zone administrations to send their troops to get involved in the fight.
    The war should not be left only to Amhara and Afar people. The war is waged on the government and it is every zones responsivity to fight for the government.

  4. Let the map of Ethiopia go back to where it was for centuries. Back then there was no ethic tension or division because people did not feel caged by ethnic prison walls. Tribalism is primitive system that Africa got rid of it many years ago because it was a system of colonizers.

  5. Apologies to the folks who have commented. Negotiations are indeed taking place btw Abiy and TPLF.

    Cheers,
    MJ

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