Pro-Ethiopian government protesters gathered in Washington on Monday. They say US President Joe Biden’s calls for talks between the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front are misinformed.

Ethiopian-Americans like Gennet Negussie also say they’re angry at a US and Western media narrative perceived as supporting the TPLF and blaming the Ethiopian government.

“They are insurrectionists, just like what happened on January 6th. And, as US does not negotiate with ISIS, Ethiopia will not and cannot be forced to negotiate.”

But there are warnings that time is running out.

US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman and African Union Special Envoy Olusegun Obasanjo, have been in the region urging an end to the year-long war.

As protesters danced outside the White House, State Department spokesperson Ned Price gave a briefing.

“We believe there is a small window of opening to work with the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, former President Obasanjo … to further joint efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict in Ethiopia.”

That view was echoed by former Nigerian President Obasanjo as he updated the U.N. Security Council.

Obasanjo said all leaders, in Addis Ababa and the north, agree their differences are political and require political solutions through dialogue.

“The window of opportunity we have is very little and that the time is short,” Ethiopia’s UN Ambassador, Taye Atske Selassie Amde told the council that the route to dialog and political solution “will not be straightforward or easy.”

He said that for now their focus was halting the TPLF and “reaching our public”.

The conflict, which broke out in November 2020, has intensified in recent weeks. Tigrayan forces and their allies are threatening to march on the capital. The government has declared a six-month state of emergency.

Speaking at the Security Council, the UN’s political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo warned that the repercussions of escalating violence would be “immense” for the wider Horn of Africa region – and that the risk of Ethiopia descending into a widening civil war is “only too real”.