A U.S. envoy said that he believes that the negotiations between the warring parties with Ethiopia have made “great progress”, but he is concerned that the “shocking” military developments in the year-long war of Africa’s second most populous country will outweigh this progress.
Nairobi, Kenya – A U.S. envoy said on Tuesday that he believes that negotiations between the warring parties with Ethiopia have made “great progress”, but he is concerned that the year-long war in Africa’s second most populous country will be “shocking” Military development will exceed this progress.
Jeffrey Feltman spoke to reporters after his recent visit to Ethiopia, where hostile Tigray forces continued to advance to the capital Addis Ababa, and more and more countries demanded that their citizens leave immediately . Prime Minister Abi Ahmed announced on Monday that he will lead a war “from the battlefield” that has killed an estimated tens of thousands of people.
Feltman said that the warring parties are now discussing what they hope to see in the negotiations, but “the tragedy is” that although the content is similar, they have different views on the issues that are resolved in the first place.
“Unfortunately, both parties are trying to achieve their goals through military power and believe that they are on the verge of victory,” he said.
The provocative stance of Tigray’s army indicates that a statement issued by the Tigray Foreign Affairs Office on Tuesday stated that “First of all, any peace initiative whose main goal is to save Abi Ahmed from imminent demise is dead upon arrival. .”
The U.S. envoy stated that Tigray’s forces must stop advancing to the capital and warned that as they get closer, their demand may increase. Before Abiy took office in 2018, the Tigray forces had long dominated the national government. Abiy was known for economic development but political repression. Feltman said that if they enter Addis today, they “will be met with merciless hostility.”
Abi also told the U.S. envoy that he was confident in pushing Tigray’s troops back to their home area in the north of the country, but Feltman said: “I questioned this confidence.” However, he was encouraged that Abi Willing to speak in the country with detailed information about what diplomatic procedures to stop fighting might look like.
“There is no indication that direct talks between the two sides are about to be held, and there is no need,” Feltman added. “There are many ways of political progress,” including close talks.
Urgent issues include the provision of humanitarian aid to Tigray and the growing numbers of people in Amhara and Afar, where fighting has hindered aid.
The World Food Program said on Tuesday that it had been allowed to enter the aid warehouse in the city of Kombocha, which was occupied by Tigray forces last month, and found that “a large amount” of food had been looted. A spokesperson for the World Food Program declined to be named because he did not have the right to disclose details. He told the Associated Press that they believed that the robbery was carried out by “members of the Tigray troops and local residents.”
Ethiopia’s diplomatic efforts are also led by the African Union’s special envoy, Olesegon Obasanjo, who has not discussed his talks publicly in recent days, including going to the capital of Tigray to meet with the Tigray leaders.
According to the independent Addis Standard Report, as France, Turkey and other countries called on their citizens to leave Ethiopia, the Addis Ababa authorities tried to assure foreign diplomats that the city was “in a reliable state of peace.”