The rebels in the Ethiopian region of Tigray say they are willing to lay down arms again. They also say they want to participate in peace negotiations led by the African Union. The rebels have been fighting against the country‘s government for about two years, and at the end of last month, violence flared up again after a months-long period of rest.
The Ethiopian government did not immediately respond to the request, but rather said it was open to peace negotiations. The United Nations says it supports the peace negotiations. Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls on both sides to seize this opportunity to end the violence permanently.
The rebels are led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which was in power in the country for years. With the election of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister, this came to an end in 2018. Two years ago, tensions between those parties erupted and a civil war broke out.
Other countries also became involved in the conflict. Since March, a file that was unilaterally announced by Abiy and agreed to by TPLF has been in force. The parties blame each other for the recently flared up violence.
Since the outbreak of violence, millions of people in northern Ethiopia have fled. Thousands have died as a result of the violence, others were killed by famine.