Tigrayan forces say they are ready to accept an AU-led peace process with the Ethiopian government



CNN

Forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region say they are ready to observe an immediate ceasefire and accept the African Union-led peace process to end a conflict with federal forces that has lasted nearly two years.

“We are ready to abide by an immediate and mutually agreed ceasefire to create a good environment,” the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) said in a statement.

Tigray’s negotiation team includes TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda, and General Tsadkan Gebretinsae, who are “ready to deploy without delay,” the statement added.

The Ethiopian government formed a committee in June to negotiate with forces from the Tigray region.

Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu was not immediately available for comment.

The African Union (AU) welcomed the TPLF’s announcement, calling it a “unique opportunity towards the restoration of peace” in Ethiopia, AU chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat told a statement late sunday

The TPLF has previously expressed major concerns through the AU and asked the government to restore basic services such as banking and communication in Tigray before any talks can be held. The federal government, however, insisted that there should be no preconditions set before the AU intervenes.

The United Nations also welcomes the development and stands ready to support the AU-led peace process, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on “all parties to seize this opportunity for peace and take steps to end violence decisively and opt for dialogue,” Dujarric said.

Military fighting between Ethiopian government forces and Tigrayan forces resumed last month after a month-long ceasefire.