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US, UN, IGAD observe and participate in Ethiopia peace talks in South Africa

FILE – Ethiopians protest against what they say is interference by outsiders in the country’s internal affairs and against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party of Tigray’s fugitive leaders, at a rally organized by the city administration in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. A South Africa government spokesman says African Union-led peace talks to end Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict have begun in South Africa on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. (AP Photo, File)

The US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, is participating in African Union-led peace talks in South Africa that are aimed at ending hostilities in Ethiopia.

This despite demonstrations in the US by Ethiopians and Eritreans who are accusing the superpower of interfering in Ethiopia’s internal affairs.

Hammer has been a regular feature in efforts to bring warring factions to the negotiation table.

Before the talks, he held meetings with SA officials; Kenyan President William Ruto; former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, one of the negotiators; civil society and government representatives in Ethiopia and Tigray.

Hammer is attending as an observer along with some officials from the United Nations (UN) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

IGAD is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa comprising Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea, which is blamed for fighting alongside Ethiopia’s federal government in the conflict. Somalia and Ethiopia are also part of IGAD.

“Our special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, is in South Africa to observe and to participate in the AU-led talks along with the United Nations and IGAD, and to support efforts to have an immediate cessation of hostilities, to deliver humanitarian assistance to all Ethiopians in need, to prevent further human rights abuses and atrocities, and to secure Eritrea’s withdrawal from northern Ethiopia,” said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

Price said:

Since the outbreak of the civil war in Ethiopia two years ago, demonstrations have been held in front of the White House in Washington DC on Sundays.

Eritreans and Ethiopians have been marching, accusing the US of taking sides in the conflict.

The two-year-long civil war entered a mini-truce stage in March to allow much-needed aid to trickle into Tigray.

However, the truce was broken in August with the resumption of armed conflict on a more intense scale, forcing the AU and international partners to push harder for talks.

World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, a former Ethiopian government minister who is of Tigrayan origin, said this week that about five million out of seven million people in Tigray relied on aid because of the conflict and climate change impacts.

His plea drew the attention of the world, but Ethiopia accused him of sensationalising the matter.

The US Foreign Relations Committee wrote an open letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali as talks were set to start in Pretoria, urging him to allow peace, restoration and accountability.

“We are hopeful that the AU-led talks will signal an end to the violence that has ravaged northern Ethiopia for two years and pave the way for holding those responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities to account. A peaceful resolution to the conflict is imperative and we urge you to facilitate this critical step toward peace by immediately ceasing hostilities,” it wrote.

However, the Ethiopian Mission to the European Union said in a tweet that the crisis in Tigray demanded a long-lasting solution and “not a quick fix” at a time when the blanket call was for an immediate end to the war.



3 thoughts on “US, UN, IGAD observe and participate in Ethiopia peace talks in South Africa”

  1. I give Envoy H.E. Mike Hammer a roaring round of applause for being able to bring these two stubborn sides to the negotiation table. Others before him had all failed. There is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong in bringing warring factions to a round table. Whether this peace talk will succeed or not that rests solely on the shoulders of Abiy and Debre. If it fails I will be holding those who gave up first responsible for the failure. If this news of continued success on the battlefronts by the ENDF is true and Mekele falls that is a different bowl game. Even then the talks must continue to avert another guerilla warfare which is going to be a war of attrition. You think the current conflict is brutal but wait if Debre and his cabals are driven out of Mekele and went back to their old device. We should never underestimate the fact that for one reason or another there are thousands of fanatic riff raffs who take Debre and cabals as their sacred deity. They will charge into fiery ujuum for them, no questions asked. These fanatics have surrendered their Allah gifted thinking power and let their leaders do all the thinking for them. That why Debre and his predecessors have been able to wage a sheer human wave battle tactics since the 1970’s. It will not be a cake walk. So I hope and pray that AU, UN, USA, Uhuru, Olusegun Obasanjo and IGAD will somehow be able to forge up the silver bullet and help bring this senseless conflict to an abrupt end. Enough with sending those young men and girls to their inevitable demise! Enough with the wailing by grieving mothers and loved ones! Enough with the internal displacements of innocent civilians! Enough, enough, enough!!!!

  2. From its origin and life-long deeds, TPLF was, is, will not be, prepared to “peace process”. The leaders of the bandits are obsessed with hostilities, deceitful tongue, meaningless continuous violence and sacking the poor Tigrians youths instead of creating a conducive atmosphere to arm with quality education, shovels and spades to get-ride of the quagmire of the vicious circle of poverty.

    The TPLF at all do not represent the people of Tigray, accountable for crimes committed against the interest of Tigrians for almost half a century rather. TPLF while was in power believed attempt to dismantle and isolate Ethiopia to meet its western supporters foriegn policy in the horn.

  3. My hope lies solely in the courage and wisdom of the Ethiopian govt., IGAD, the South African govt., and the two ex-presidents. We know the stands of the US and the UN, which has unfortunately morphed into US/EU tool. They feel devastated to hear that their destructive messenger, TPLF, is being defeated and are desperately trying to save and revive it. The AU has mostly failed to promote the interests of Africans, directly and indirectly going along the interests of the West. The TPLF? I won’t say much, even its masters, the US/EU know its nature.

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