Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that two senior international diplomats who have been working to relaunch peace negotiations and bring about a truce in the country’s year-long war had returned to the country.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian president and current High Representative for the Horn of Africa of the African Union, and Jeffrey Feltman, the United States’ Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, both arrived on Thursday, according to a spokesperson.
Two prominent Ethiopian leaders have expressed their desire for an unconditional truce between the Ethiopian government and dissident Tigrayan troops and their supporters, as well as access for humanitarian relief to all regions of northern Ethiopia impacted by the conflict.
Around 400,000 people in the northern area of Tigray are reported to be suffering from starvation, and only a trickle of humanitarian assistance has been able to reach them in recent months. Hunger has also been observed in the neighboring districts of Amhara and Afar, according to reports.
In Ethiopia, a year ago, a conflict began between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which used to dominate political affairs in the country, and Ethiopia’s federal government. While the TPLF accuses the Ethiopian government of attempting to centralize authority at the cost of the country’s federal regions, the Ethiopian government accuses the TPLF of attempting to reclaim national supremacy.
Leaders of the TPLF demand Abiy to stand down and for the government to allow humanitarian relief to enter Tigray as soon as possible. It has been ordered by the government that Tigrayan troops withdraw from land they have conquered in neighboring areas.
However, while the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has publicly speculated that Tigrayan forces may march south on the capital Addis Ababa, more intense fighting has been reported in their push east in an attempt to capture the main transport corridor linking the landlocked nation to the region’s main port, Djibouti.
Obasanjo is the president of Nigeria “He traveled to Tigray, he traveled to Addis Ababa, and he traveled to neighboring nations as well. He traveled to the United States… he is researching, he is speaking with various partners “Dina shared her thoughts during a press conference on Thursday.
Dina said that the two diplomats will offer a public update the following week.
President Obasanjo’s attempts to negotiate an unconditional ceasefire were reaffirmed on Wednesday by Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the United States of America.
TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda could not be contacted for comment at the time of publication.