Ethiopia’s peace talks in SA – a chance to silence guns in Tigray: Analysts

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As South Africa holds peace talks for Ethiopia’s warring parties, the international community is urging for a ceasefire and access to humanitarian aid for millions affected by the protracted war.

Fighting continues to be reported in parts of the country’s North, with the United Nations saying hostilities continue to escalate and lead to mounting humanitarian needs.

Delegations from both the government of Ethiopia and the rebels – the Tigray People Liberation Front, are in South Africa for the dialogue.

The government of Ethiopia says it views the talks as an opportunity to peacefully resolve the conflict. The rebels group – the Tigray People’s Liberation Front says it is pressing for an immediate cessation of hostilities, unfettered humanitarian access & withdrawal of Eritrean forces. But in parts of Ethiopia North, their military confrontation is yet to stop.

Fresh fighting began in August after a 5-month humanitarian ceasefire. Aid agencies say the distribution of supplies to over 9 million people is still being hampered by the insecurity. Aid convoys through one of the major routes remain suspended since the 24th of August.

International community calls for a ceasefire between warring parties in Ethiopia:

The United Nations says to date, 26 humanitarian workers have lost their lives since the conflict in the country’s North began in November 2020. The latest case was reported on 14th October.

The Ethiopian government says it is working with humanitarian agencies to send assistance to areas that it is taking over from the control of the rebels. It says it is also working to restore services.

The United States has asked Eritrea to withdraw its forces from Northern Ethiopia. Eritrea is accused of sending troops to support the Ethiopian government.

Even as the main factions exhibit open mistrust for each other, political analysts say their acceptance to face each other at the peace table could open avenues towards silencing the guns in the country’s North.