Ethiopia says it will work with the African Union to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in the country’s Tigray region – where violence has persisted since November last year.

The United Nations says over seven million people are in need of emergency assistance because of the fighting between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

After months of fighting in Ethiopia’s North, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister has told the ¬†UN General Assembly that the government is willing to talk.

“Ethiopia is open to candid initiatives for peace. In this connection, we will work with the African Union and the higher representative for the horn of Africa to organise an Ethiopia-led national dialogue. We only hope the African Union will be given the space to apply its own wisdom,” says Deputy Prime Minister Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen.

The United States has imposed fresh sanctions on Ethiopia, which it says will be targeted at those fuelling the war. The rebel group, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, has welcomed the news.

The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, though, expressed open disappointment at the new decision.

“Despite the undue pressure we shall live up to the solemn obligation to preserve sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the political independence of Ethiopia. While cooperation and concern from our friends is welcome, we underline the need to employ constructive approach, cultivate trust and create understanding,” says Mekonnen.

The national dialogue for peace is expected to come to be implemented after October when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s party will form a new government.