April 16, 2024

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Ethiopian ambassador Suleiman Dedefu

Tensions Rise between TPLF and the Ethiopian Federal Government

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In recent developments, the Ethiopian federal government has initiated a campaign against the TPLF, signaling a lack of significant progress in the ongoing talks regarding implementing the Pretoria deal.

Background on Talks

The talks center around implementing the Pretoria deal between the TPLF and the Ethiopian Federal Government. African Union-mediated discussions, attended by special US envoy to the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, are underway. The Tigray interim government insists on conducting negotiations solely through the African Union, accusing the federal government of dragging its feet and not honoring commitments.

Issues at Stake

Several critical issues have emerged in the discussions, including the determination of the status of the Welkait and Raya region, the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the rejection of a referendum proposed by the federal government, and the restoration of the TPLF’s political party status. Additionally, concerns have been raised about the alleged presence of Tigrayan military forces and other contentious matters.

Federal Government’s Campaign

The federal government has launched a campaign in response to these issues, as evidenced by recent events. Notably, an Ethiopian ambassador’s strong language on social media has raised eyebrows, suggesting heightened seriousness in the situation.

Diplomatic Verbal Exchange

Later deleted, the Ethiopian ambassador Suleiman Dedefu’s tweet expressed a lack of trust in the TPLF, stating that TPLF can only be trusted after it has been “buried.” He also criticized the TPLF for not raising the issue of Welkait and Raya during the initial talks surrounding the Pretoria deal. The ambassador’s remarks underscore the intensity of the diplomatic exchange between the two parties.

Accusations and Allegations

Accusations have also been leveled against individuals associated with the TPLF. A pro-government journalist, Sisay Agena, alleged that a Tigrayan leader, Getachew, had held secret meetings with Eritrean and Egyptian officials. While these allegations were unverified, they contribute to the systematic campaign against the TPLF, aiming to exert pressure during the ongoing negotiations.

Changing Dynamics

The changing dynamics in the talks reflect a shift in negotiation strength. The TPLF, recognizing the federal government’s vulnerabilities, appears to be negotiating from a position of relative stability. The federal government, facing challenges on multiple fronts, seeks support from Tigray. Both sides leverage their positions to secure favorable outcomes at the negotiation table.


The situation remains tense as talks continue, with no substantial progress reported. The campaigns and diplomatic exchanges indicate the high stakes involved. The potential collapse of the negotiations could lead to heightened tensions and increased pressure on the TPLF and the federal government. The international community watches closely as Ethiopia navigates through these critical diplomatic challenges.

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