The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, has unveiled plans to end the war with rebels in the Tigray region of the country. Prime Minister Ahmed revealed his plans yesterday while addressing lawmakers at the parliament in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Earlier this week, a spokesperson from the office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister announced the 7-member peace committee set up by the Prime Minister to facilitate an end to the war with the Tigray rebels. He said the committee had drawn up a proposal to begin talks on a ceasefire and put an end to the war in the northern region of the country.
He revealed that the 7-member peace committee had been established in June and that the government has insisted that talks with the rebel leaders in Tigray commence immediately. According to him, the committee had been working tirelessly to come up with a plan to end the prolonged war.
The plan of the committee is to reach a ceasefire agreement and implement a national dialogue that would put an end to the 20-month-long war between national forces and Tigray rebels in northern Ethiopia.
“The peace proposal is three-pronged. Firstly, it proposes for peace talks to happen within the coming weeks towards an agreed ceasefire. Secondly, it proposes to undertake an in-depth political dialogue between the parties leading towards a settlement. Thirdly, it proposes for other pending issues to be addressed through a national dialogue”, Billene Seyoum, the Press Secretary for the PM’s office, revealed.
However, the rebels have dismissed the committee’s call – calling it an “obfuscation”. If both sides have named negotiators, the parties differ on several issues and prerequisites to the talks. The rebels, for example, want a return of basic services in the war-stricken northern region.
According to the press secretary, the demands by the rebels cannot be granted at the moment.
“For the basic services to happen, we are saying that a conducive operable environment needs to happen which guarantees the safety of federal service providers to operate freely and with guarantees that their safety is facilitated within the region.
“And at the moment with a very vocally belligerent and illegally armed group operating at its own whim and refusing to accept peace talks, the required enabling and secure environment is lacking for the restoration of services,” he explained.
According to reports, fighting in the region has eased since a humanitarian truce was declared at the end of March, but a political solution has yet to be found. The rebels and the government haven’t agreed on a mediator. The African Union leads efforts to end the conflict that has killed thousands and left millions displaced.
On its part, the spokesman for the rebel group, Getachew Reda, accused the government of defying an “oft-repeated promise to take measures aimed at creating a conducive environment for peaceful negotiations.”
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is from the restive region, on Wednesday described the “man-made catastrophe” there as the “worst disaster on Earth” and slammed global leaders for overlooking the humanitarian crisis.
“This unimaginable cruelty must end. The only solution is peace,” he said at a press conference in Geneva.
The war in northern Ethiopia was unleashed when the TPLF, which dominated Ethiopian politics for three decades, was accused of attacking federal army camps.
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