Tigray troops fighting the Ethiopian army said they were willing to comply with an immediate cessation of hostilities and participate in the African Union-led peace process. This is a significant shift in attitude that the Ethiopian government has not responded to.
The conflict in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia is estimated to have killed tens of thousands of people and left millions without basic services for more than a year after fighting raged in late 2020.
The statement from Tigray’s authorities on Sunday night came after renewed pressure from the US and others, following fresh fighting last month that shattered months of relative calm.
The Tigray authorities have criticized the African Union’s mediation efforts under special envoy Olesegun Obasanjo, and their new statement explains that they expect “mutually acceptable mediators” in addition to international observers and experts to guide the peace process.
The Ethiopian government has said it is ready to hold talks anywhere, anytime, and without preconditions. Tigray authorities have demanded, among other things, the resumption of basic services and the removal of enemy troops from neighboring Eritrea.
The US, African Union and UN welcomed the Tigray authorities’ new statement, and the US called on Eritrea and unspecified “others” to stop fueling the conflict. [uh/ab]