AU envoy warns Ethiopia talks will not succeed with out ceasefire

Olusegun Obasanjo. (File: AFP)

Olusegun Obasanjo. (File: AFP)

The African Union’s particular envoy for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, stays hopeful that dialogue can finish Ethiopia’s year-long struggle, however warned in a press release launched on Sunday that “such talks can’t ship” with out a direct ceasefire.

The previous Nigerian president is main a global push to finish a battle that has price 1000’s of lives and displaced two million folks, as fears of a insurgent march on Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa immediate a flurry of diplomatic exercise.

Along with Obasanjo, who left Ethiopia on Thursday after conferences with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the management of the Tigray Individuals’s Liberation Entrance insurgent group, US particular envoy Jeffrey Feltman additionally visited the nation final week for talks.

READ | The age of disinformation: what precisely is occurring in Ethiopia?

In the meantime, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has additionally participated in regional mediation efforts, landed in Ethiopia on a shock one-day go to Sunday, with Abiy posting pictures of the pair on Twitter.

Obasanjo stated he was “optimistic that frequent floor in the direction of a peaceable decision of the battle might be secured.”

However with preventing intensifying in current weeks and the TPLF claiming main territorial positive aspects, he warned that “such talks can’t ship in an surroundings of escalated army hostilities.”

“I, due to this fact, enchantment to the management of all sides to halt their army offensives. It will enable a possibility for dialogue to proceed to progress.”

His feedback got here forward of a three-nation go to to Africa by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has backed Obasanjo’s efforts at mediation and threatened to impose sanctions on Abiy’s authorities and the TPLF except they transfer ahead on talks.

Ethiopia on Thursday laid out situations for doable talks with the rebels, together with a halt to assaults, a TPLF withdrawal from the neighbouring areas of Amhara and Afar, and recognition of the federal government’s legitimacy.

READ | Ethiopia units out phrases of doable talks with Tigray rebels

The TPLF in flip is demanding that support be let into Tigray, the area the place the battle erupted final yr. No help has arrived by highway since October 18, and 364 vehicles are caught in Afar awaiting authorisation, based on the United Nations.

Abiy despatched troops into Tigray final November to topple the TPLF, a transfer he stated got here in response to insurgent assaults on military camps.

Although the 2019 Nobel Peace laureate vowed a swift victory, by late June the TPLF had retaken most of Tigray earlier than increasing into Amhara and Afar.

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