By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
July 17, 2022 (NAIROBI) – The rebel-led government in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region says it is ready to name a negotiator team for peace talks with the government.
“The Government of Tigray will name a team of negotiators taking all the necessary government procedures of decision making,” Professor Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Tigray External Affairs Office representative told the Sudan Tribune.
In a related development, a seven-member peace committee tasked by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to lead peace talks with Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), has announced the start of duty.
The team headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, “has started work” to facilitate the peace talks, said Redwan Hussein, Abiy’s national security adviser on Twitter after Tuesday’s meeting.
He said the committee has deliberated and decided on its internal workings on a range of actions and a code of conduct for the planned peace talks.
“Sub-committees have also been formed and responsibilities have been divided within this structure,” said Hussein who also is a member of the government’s negotiating team.
He didn’t give further details including on whether the government will hold face-to-face talks with Tigray leaders.
Addis Ababa wants the peace process to be held under the leadership of the African Union.
The TPLF, however, doubts the neutrality of the continental bloc and insists any talks be held under the auspices of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
TPLF leaders voiced concerns about the “proximity” of the AU’s envoy, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, to Abiy.
“The silence of the African Union over the war and the atrocities perpetrated by the forces ranged against us was the betrayal of the foundational principles of the African Union,” the Tigrayan rebels recently said in a statement.
“We have consistently condemned the failure of the African Union chairperson and his High Representative to take a consistent position with the solemn obligation under the Constitutive Act of the Union,” further stressed the armed group.
These unresolved differences between the two warring parties has delayed the talks which were initially planned to commence by the end of last month.
It still remains unclear when and where the talks would be held but a Tigray government official confirmed to Sudan Tribune that discussions are underway to finalize the pre-dialogue pending issues.
“JUMPING THE GUN”
Kindeya further went on to saying that “The regime in Addis Ababa is jumping the gun”. He further added that Addis Ababa sends mixed signals and conflicting messages about peace and war.
“You would hear about peace from the PM, and at the same time labeling/blaming TPLF on every problem in the country including Sudan- Ethiopia recent conflict from the Ministrty of foreign affairs and army preparing for war from the Chief Staff, not to mention the daily war drum from the Amhara Authorities,” Kindeya said.
“If you monitor their medias, you would see the conflicting signals” he said adding “If they are serious about peace, they should come clean,” he added.
The African Union special envoy, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, has recently been in several meetings with TPLF and government leaders in a bid to bring both sides to a negotiating table.
Fighting has relatively slowed in northern Ethiopia since a humanitarian truce was declared at the end of March.
The northern region of Tigray remains in what the UN says is under defacto blockade preventing life-saving medicine and other emergency humanitarian assistance from reaching the war-affected population who are in famine-like conditions, according to huamnaitarian agencies.
Lack of cash, fuel and other essential services is also worsening the humanitarian crisis in the aid dependent, aid workers say.
last month for the first time, the prime minister raised the prospect of possible peace talks with the TPLF in a bid to end the deadly conflict that broke out in northern Ethiopia in November 2020.
On June 14, Abiy Ahmed signaled the possibility that his government would have talks with TPLF, a party which dominated Ethiopian politics for nearly three decades.
Later on, the Ethiopian government named seven negotiators chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen to negotiate with the Tigray rebels in a bid to end the 18-month-old bloody conflict in the country’s north.
Aside from Demeke and Redwan, the committee comprises Justice Minister Gedion Timotheos; National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) director general Temesgen Tiruneh; military intelligence chief General Berhanu Bekele; Prosperity Party official Hassan Abdulkadir; and the deputy president of the Amhara region which neighbors Tigray, Getachew Jember.
7 thoughts on “Tigray rebels say ready to name team for peace talks with Ethiopian gov’t”
Just at the end of last year, the TPLF commander Tsadkan declared that the war is over and there will not be any negotiation. It will be difficult for the TPLF to persuade its Tigray power base after sacrificing tens of thousands of fighters in the Afar and Amhara regions. Reports from these TPLF invaded areas still tell about the decaying corpses of the TPLF fighters. The TPLF is sending mixed signals. The TPLF is telling its power base that it will break the siege and open all the connections to the outside world. The disastrous miscalculations of the TPLF and its military attacks have led to the blockade of Tigray and suffering of its people.
What has been done to those upright and peace mongering brothers and sisters of Tigray is a travesty of justice.when a state of was was imposed and perpetuated on them by those who believe they will achieve everything only through war. They have lost thousands of their budding children in senseless bloody conflict that brought them nothing but unabated misery including killer famine. Stubbornness and ignorance that comes with it have caused them to lose everything in their possession. I hope and assume that by now they have come to a wise conclusion that war is good for nothing in this case. Reconciliation and healing should begin now. Those citizens should know by now that those who triggered the war are not the ones who lost but they are the ones who carry the brunt of all facets of the destruction. They will remain in my hope prayers that they will get the break badly needed, the permanent break from destructive war. Good luck y’all!!!!!
NO sane person should trust the TPLF. Throughout their history deception and deceit is their leading motto. Just think for a minute, what was the gain by attacking the unsuspecting Northern command soldiers? For a normal person, the answer is misery, death and destruction for all involved. For TPLF and its sympathizers it is for the glory of the Tigrean people. What a shame! It is beyond me, as to why many people still want to fight for worthless causes such as ethnic supremacy and other trivial things. Life is more than all of those things put together!
Ethiopia’s PM is facing a herculean task. He has to attempt to pacify the ungovernable and soothe the many ethnically drunk politicians. These and many flareup conflicts around the country makes his effort an arduous one. In light of these and other unseen problems dealing with the TPLF becomes a waste of time. This is because TPLF does not believe in peace making from its inception. All they know is to kill and to be killed. Go back and check their history, you will find trails of blood and gore. Many Tigreans vanished for simply asking a valid question. Peace was never in the vocabulary of the TPLF’s dictionary. If there is a call or an agreement for negotiation from the TPLF camp, it is simply to buy time and to charm their sponsors. In its history TPLF has never been in such precarious position as it’s finding itself now. They are simply left with no choice other than to pretend as if they are negotiating with the Ethiopian government. They have tried all avenues and nothing led them back to the Ethiopian palace. They are in shambles. Now, they can pretend and buy time by getting to the negotiating table. I can predict the out come will be dividing any number by zero. Or a zero sum. Do not trust TPLF! They are evil and and will kill again if the opportunity presents itself to them. That is all they know. Destruction!
Why blame now the African Union? If biased why the TPLF cabal riding on it’s back in the last twenty-seven years? Or maybe they thought the organization under under their spell and it was their personal property..
Wayane, come to Ethiopia where there is unlimited freedom of speech and press, no racism, where free elections are in the country’s DNA, no corruption, and where there are no extradjudicial killings – where the country is an earthly heaven. Don’t waste time, don’t squander this chance – weyinee come on!
Make that: What has been done to those upright and peace mongering brothers and sisters of Tigray is a travesty of justice when a state of war was imposed and perpetuated on them by those who believe they will achieve everything only through war.
Ittu Aba Farda,
Stop shedding corocodile tears for what happened to TPLF leadership, Tigray and their ragtag militia. Deep inside, you know that TPLF is a criminal organization. Their militia is a band that roamed to kill, rob and destroy. Tigrians are comlicit to the actis of TPLF and the militia. By defaut, they are also criminals.
It’s over a week since it was repported that “Tigray rebels say ready to name team for peace talks with Ethiopian gov’t”, but they have not done so until today. Insiders say Getachew Redda heads the team. Who doesn’t know Getachew? Isn’t him the one who called Tegaru to “settle accounts” with Amara? And now, he heads the team to talk peace. Unbelievable!
In any case, «What does Ethiopia get from talks with TPLF?» « Nothing ».
There is no doubtthat TPLF is a criminal organization whose leaders should be prosecuted and sent to prison for life. With its ragtag militia and complicity of Tigreans, TPLF led attacks on the ENDF, attacks on Amara and Afar regions in which hundreds of thousands were killed and/or disabled; it led robbery of banks, hospitals, schools and encouraged rape of women and children. It as well led massive destruction of Amara and Afar public property and property of private citizens. It displaced millions who are not reinstated until now. These are war crimes and crimes against humanity – pure and simple. The constitution bans defense based on of statute of limitations and exoneration or absolution from these crimes. Trust me! TPLF is caught in constitutional and criminal law web forever from which it cannot untangle itself.
However, what we’re observing is the federal government led by Abiy A whom I. Aba Farda defends has appointed a tean to talk peace with TPLF even before the House of Peoples’ Representatives or Parliament lifted TPLF’s designation a terrorist organization. It is a public knowledge that such designations make part of the law of the country and their lifting needs parliamentary resolution. Abiy has not asked Parliament to lift the designation, maybe because he knows, given the nature of crimes TPLF and its ragtag militia committed, Parliament might not agree to lift the designation. Look! War crimes and crimes against humanity! The consitution calls them the gravest crimes on which no deal is possible. It’s fair to assume Abiy took the law into his hands to avoid embarassment in Parliament.
Constitutionally speaking, the executive led by Abiy cannot overule law enacted by parliament. As we said, designation of an organization terrorist has the effect of law and it can only be lifted by law enacted by parliament. Since Abiy overruled parliamentary edict, he acts beyond the power given to hiim in the constitution. His action on this matter as in many others is ultra vires and unconstitutional. As a result, any agreemt – be it in relation to peace and security or any other – with TPLF will be null and void. So, what Abiy is doing with TPLF right now is a waste of resources. The sad thing is his Minister of Justice is one of the members of the team for talks with TPLF and he’s not telling Abiy that the exercise is futile.
What’s surprising in all this is the love our Oromo brothers show for TPLF, TPLF’s ragtag militia and complicit Tigreans to the crimes committed by the first two. Getachew Redda, mocking “Oromara” once said, “What ido Amaras have in common with the Oromo?” «now we ask what do Oromos have to do with TPLF and Tigreans?
To be continued.
To be continued.