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Nov 21, 2020 (Thessherald)–As international pressure mounts to end the ongoing hostilities in the restive Tigray region, the African Union (AU) has resolved to dispatch high-level special envoys to kick off the mediation process in Addis Ababa.
However, the Ethiopian government rejected African Union calls for peace talks, pledging instead to reinforce its operations and take control of the Tigray region, capital Mekelle.
On Friday, the African Union appointed three former heads of state as envoys to mediate a conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
The announcement was made by the President by the South African, Cyril Ramaphosa, on his verified Twitter account, raising hopes for an end to more than 2 weeks of fighting that has led to an influx of Ethiopians into Sudan.
“Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed now has accepted the initiative, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa,” who chairs the African Union, said in a statement on Twitter.
“The primary task of the special envoys is to engage all sides to the conflict with a view to ending hostilities, creating conditions for an inclusive national dialogue to resolve all issues that led to the conflict, and restoring peace and stability to Ethiopia,” the UN official said in a statement.
UN warns of unfolding humanitarian crisis
Last week, the United Nations warned that more than 1.2 million people could be at risk if the armed conflict continues in the Tigray region and called for a temporary ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to reach vulnerable populations in the affected areas.
“A full-scale humanitarian crisis is unfolding,” spokesman Babar Baloch told a virtual press briefing from Geneva.
“Refugees fleeing the fighting continue to arrive exhausted from the long trek to safety, with few belongings,” he added.
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