The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared on Thursday that the Kingdom is closely monitoring the developments in Ethiopia and the continuance of the violence.
According to the Saudi Press Agency “SPA,” the Kingdom called on all parties to halt fire and all military and hostile actions, not to escalate them, to provide protection for civilians, to return to dialogue and find peaceful solutions. It also called to allow relief and humanitarian organizations to enter conflict zones to provide relief and humanitarian assistance to civilians.
It is noteworthy that northern Ethiopia has witnessed fierce fighting since November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the army to Tigray to eliminate the regional authorities led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which he accused of orchestrating attacks on army camps.
On November 28, Abi Ahmed declared victory. The LTTE rebels, however, regained most of Tigray in June and continued their onslaught in the nearby Afar and Amhara areas.
After days of strenuous diplomatic attempts by foreign envoys to avert a further escalation in the war, Ethiopia revealed its prerequisites for prospective negotiations with the Tigray rebels on Thursday.
Dina Mufti, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, stated that the rebels’ evacuation from the Afar and Amhara areas bordering Tigray would be a prerequisite for prospective negotiations, which he underlined were not agreed upon.
He went on to say, “There are certain requirements that must be met in order for a peaceful solution to be achieved: First and foremost, halt your assaults. Second, exit the regions you’ve just entered (Amhara and Afar). Third, acknowledge the government’s legitimacy.” “By the way, do not misinterpret, this does not indicate that a decision to participate in discussions has been taken,” he added.
A retreat from Amhara and Afar before the discussions, according to Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, is “absolutely not on the table.”
Diplomatic envoys have also stepped up their attempts to stop the violence from spiraling out of control in recent days.
US optimistic that AU can end Ethiopia’s war
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken voiced his optimism that the African Union’s High Representative in the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo’s diplomatic efforts would bring to an end to Ethiopia’s war.
“I believe that all parties realize the risks of sustaining the war,” he stated in a press conference.
Tigray insurgents have been approaching Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, in recent days.