Ethiopia.. Washington issues a position on the developments of the conflict in Tigray and the start of life returning to normal in the Amhara region
The US State Department welcomed what it said were reports that Ethiopian government forces would not advance into Tigray region, and called on Addis Ababa to stop air strikes, and Eritrea to withdraw its forces from Ethiopia.
The US State Department called on the parties to the conflict in Ethiopia to stop hostilities, put an end to human rights violations, allow humanitarian access and enter negotiations, noting that there is no military solution to the conflict in Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, the Amhara Parliament announced the reduction of curfew hours throughout the region, the resumption of work in government institutions, and the return of employees to begin their duties starting today, Friday.
The head of the Amhara Government Communications Office said that the decision was based on assessments made by Parliament, which concluded that the security situation in the region had improved days after government forces regained control of it.
The completion of the first stage
In a related context, Ethiopian government spokesman Legis Tolu said that the first phase of the military confrontations in the north of the country ended with the successful achievement of its goals, after the restoration of the Afar and Amhara regions from the Tigray Liberation Front. He stressed that the government forces will remain in their positions to prevent a recurrence of the previous crisis.
Tolo added that the “national unity campaign” launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has completed its first phase and has successfully achieved its goals, as the Afar and Amhara regions were restored, and any threat that he described as “terrorists” might pose to Ethiopia in the future was abolished, and indicated that the forces The government will remain in its positions until further notice.
In turn, a government official announced, on Thursday, that his country’s forces will not penetrate deep into the Tigray region, where rebels have been fighting the central government for more than a year.
The head of the communications service, Legisi Tulu, said that the forces had been ordered to station themselves in the areas they had captured from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, but that they would not advance further. He added that the latest operation by the government has ended, but some operations may continue in the Oromia region and the border areas between Tigray and Amhara regions.
On the other hand, a US State Department spokesman said that Washington’s envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, raised, during his recent visits to the UAE and Turkey, what was reported about Ethiopia’s use of drones, and the attendant risk of harming civilians.
The spokesman told Al Jazeera that Feltman confirmed that Washington had made it clear to all parties to the Ethiopian conflict that it was time to press for negotiations and end the war.
And the Tigray Liberation Front announced – last Monday – that it withdrew from all the areas it controlled in the Afar and Amhara regions (northern Ethiopia) and expressed its readiness to negotiate an end to the war that erupted a year ago.
A written statement, broadcast by the Tigray Front TV, stated that the incursion into those areas was not aimed at controlling them, as it was to weaken the enemy forces, according to the statement’s description.
He added that the withdrawal of the Front’s forces from those areas aims to provide an opportunity to start negotiations. The statement stressed the position of the Tigray Front that there is no military solution to the political crisis, and that it is ready to resolve it through negotiation, and also appealed to the international community to exert the necessary pressure on the Government of Ethiopia in this regard.
This announcement comes after Abi Ahmed’s government confirmed that it had recaptured the last cities that were still under the control of the Tigray Front in the Amhara region, especially the cities of Waldia and Lalibela.
Late last month, the Prime Minister headed to the fighting fronts, after the Tigray Front and its allied factions were located 220 kilometers north of the capital, Addis Ababa.
After hit and run, the government spokesman announced – last Saturday – that the army had regained control of the entire Amhara region.
The war broke out in Ethiopia in November 2020, when the Prime Minister launched a military operation in response to an attack by the Tigray Front militants on army camps in the city of Mekele, the capital of the Tigray region.
The battles have killed thousands, displaced more than two million people, and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation, according to United Nations estimates. Both sides of the war accused each other of massacres on ethnic grounds.