NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael said on Saturday that his regional government was in talks with the Ethiopian federal authorities amid growing calls by the International Community for end to more than a year-long conflict that has killed thousands of people and unleashed humanitarian crisis.
In a rare broadcast interview with the BBC, Tigrayan president who is also the leader of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – the party that dominated Ethiopia’s political for decades before Abiy rose to power in 2018 – alleged that Eritrea’s army backing Afar special forces and militias had attacked positions held by Tigrayan fighters over the past weeks.
The region is struggling to survive a genocidal war and any formal negotiations with the government should address human rights atrocities committed against Tigrayans during a 14-month conflict, he added.
“We have started talking with the federal government, of course, there are shuttle communications and discussions… There are signs of improvement, we are waiting for the shuttle diplomacy to bear fruit,” Tigray President said.
Among the conditions proposed by Tigrayans for the peace talks to succeed are the withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray region, lifting of humanitarian blockade and cessation of hostilities, Debretsion noted.
In a sign of government’s pursuit for talks, the Ethiopian army was instructed not to enter Tigray region and months-long state of emergency has been lifted.
Tigrayan leader says they now want to give “peace a chance” but that does not mean comprising on their rights and fighting would resume if their conditions, including the withdrawal of Eritrean troops, have not been met.
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