Peace talks between Ethiopian government, rebels continue in Kenya

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Peace talks between the Ethiopian government and rebels are continuing in Kenya. The African Union-led process is hosting senior commanders from both sides following the signing of the permanent cessation of hostilities agreement in Pretoria.

The parties agreed to stop the war that has been raging since November 2020.

The delegations from the Ethiopian government and the rebels – the Tigray People’s Liberation Front – will deliberate on how to implement a permanent ceasefire in the country’s Northern region.

A conflict that began 2 years ago is yet to end.  The head of the Ethiopia National Defence Forces and the chief of the Tigray Defence Forces are the focal people in the Nairobi talks.

At the previous meeting in Pretoria, the Ethiopian government and the rebels agreed to recognise only one national defence force.

So the focus will be on how to implement their agreed programme of disarmament, demobilization and the reintegration of combatants into society.

This meeting is also expected to provide a clear roadmap for the resumption of humanitarian supplies and restoring services that had been cut off in the Tigray region.

The African Union special envoy for the horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo who is leading the peace process says the establishment of a hotline between the government and the rebels is a show of hope and goodwill for a return of peace.

Some analysts say the fact that other parties such as the neighbouring regions of Tigray and Eritrea, to the conflict were excluded in the Pretoria Talks, as well as this Nairobi process, may pose a challenge as to how what is discussed will be implemented satisfactorily on the ground.