Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmad Ali says there will be talks to resolve the Tigray conflict. In a meeting with a diaspora group, he spoke about a political and negotiated solution to the Ethiopia Tigray conflict.
American Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee is a diaspora group. The group members requested a meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmad. On Saturday, the meeting was held.
The PM himself attended the meeting. Mesfin Tegenu, Chairman of the diaspora group, later talked to the Associated Press (AP) about the meeting.
Mesfin Tegenu told AP that the PM said,” there will be negotiations, reasonable negotiations, that will keep the interest of the integrity of the nation first”.
Later in the talk Prime Minister Abiy Ahmad justified his decision of the suspension of military operations. He said that the decision would make the people of Tigray reconsider their support for TPLF and “push the TPLF to negotiate”.
It seems that through the continued siege, blockage of aid deliveries to Tigray, and frequent drone strikes on Tigray, the Ethiopian government wants to make the people of Tigray turn against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
It would be a difficult decision for the Prime Minister to make to start talks to resolve the Tigray conflict. At the start of this month, the Ethiopian government released some former leaders of TPLF including Sebhat Nega, Abay Weldu, and others. But the move was severely criticized by some groups in the Amhara region and some Ethiopian diaspora groups.
It seems that PM Abiy’s government is trying to do the groundwork before the start of talks. It wants to take its supporters into confidence before the official announcement of the start of talks.
If the Ethiopian government is willing to start talks, will it do that with TPLF? Or will it wait for another political force to emerge in Tigray?