Blinken: America is pressing to stop the fighting in Ethiopia without preconditions

Today, Saturday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Washington continues to push for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ethiopia, between the government forces and the forces of the Tigray Front, without preconditions.

During a visit in Kenya this week, Blinken discussed the situation in Ethiopia with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

A senior US State Department official said Thursday that “much of the discussion has focused on ways to join forces” by the United States, the African Union and other mediators.

Blinken talks to the president of Kenya
Blinken talks to the president of Kenya

The official added that Kenyatta, who visited Addis Ababa on Sunday, indicated that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed “has become more willing than before to benefit from diplomatic efforts.”

On Thursday, a senior US diplomat met with the Ethiopian deputy prime minister in an attempt to revive the talks in stall on a ceasefire.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of State said U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, African Union Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa , they visited Ethiopia.

Feltman met with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, who is also the Ethiopian government’s foreign minister, the government’s communications service tweeted.

Feltman and Obasanjo previously said they want the Ethiopian government, rebel forces in Tigray and their allies to declare an unconditional ceasefire and allow humanitarian aid to reach all war-affected areas of northern Ethiopia.

Forces of the Tigray Front in Mekele, the provincial capital (archive)
Forces of the Tigray Front in Mekele, the provincial capital (archive)

The leaders of the Tigray Front want Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to step down and the government to allow humanitarian aid to enter the region. For its part, the government says Tigray forces must withdraw from the territories they seized in neighboring provinces.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front has publicly indicated that its forces could advance south to the capital, Addis Ababa, but heavier fighting has been reported to the east as part of an attempt to seize a major transport corridor linking the landlocked country in Djibouti, the main port region.

About 400,000 people in Northern Tigray are believed to live in conditions of famine and have received very little aid for months. Widespread hunger was also monitored in the Amhara and Afar regions.

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