African leaders are trying to ease tensions in Tigray because Ethiopia has said it has seized another city. However, Addis Ababa says mediation is still a long way off and denies suggestions that it is civilian locations.
Leaders from across Africa on Monday attempted to begin some form of reconciliation in Ethiopia’s growing internal conflict, two days after the rocket attacks on the capital of Eritrea.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has held talks with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen of Ethiopia in Gula, Northern Uganda. He said the talks “focused on the peace and security issues currently affecting Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries not colonized in Africa but is the pride of the continent.”
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo left for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Monday to mediate in the crisis, his spokesman said.
What is the background of the conflict?
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared on November 4 that he had ordered military operations in the northern Tigray region in a dramatic increase in a protracted feud with the local ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Ethiopia said Monday it had conquered another city. Defense Minister Dr Kenna Yadeta told DW: “All their [TPLF’s] actions testify to their high frustration. They no longer have the strength, ability and time to intensify wars in the region. ‘
He also accused the TPLF of handing out incorrect information. “They claim that they shot down air force planes and that they won about ten thousand government forces. This seems to be a lie, as they have been known to lie during their government for the past 27 years.”
‘We [the Government of Ethiopia] can achieve a crushing victory from now on any day, ‘he concluded.
Meanwhile, Debretsion Gebremichael, leader of the TPLF, called on the United Nations and the African Union to condemn Ethiopia’s troops, accusing them of using high-tech weapons, such as drones, to carry out attacks.
Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict so far, some in atrocities as Amnesty International documented last week.
According to Sudanese officials, more than 25,000 Ethiopians have fled to neighboring Sudan.
The conflict could jeopardize the recent opening of Ethiopia’s economy, counteract ethnic tensions elsewhere, and tarnish the reputation of Prime Minister Abiy, who only won a Nobel Peace Prize last year for a peace treaty with Eritrea.