Dec 9, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Alarming military confrontation risks to outpace “nascent progress” of a negotiated process: US envoy

– In a statement he made on his return to the US following his last visit to Ethiopia, US special envoy to the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman said there had been “some progress in trying to get the parties to do so from a military confrontation to a negotiation process, but what worries us is that this fragile progress is in danger of being overtaken by alarming developments on the ground that threaten the general stability and unity of Ethiopia. “

Ambassador Jeffery confessed “I was encouraged that he would be willing to speak to me at length about what a diplomatic process might look like,” underscoring the US role in the peace talks, “but at the same time he expressed his confidence that it would be military “To be able to achieve his goals, that is – but no, in relation to the announcement he published yesterday, no.” He further emphasized the role of the US in the negotiations and said: “This would not be something that would be run by the US. It would be something the US would be one of many actors in support of. ”

He was optimistic about the potential of the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Obasanjo , with the support of the international community, take these elements that both sides agree must be part of a political process and start sequencing them and starting to decide how the reciprocity works. Ambassador Jeffrey also praised the role of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta: “I think he plays an extremely important role in speaking with Prime Minister Abiy on an equal footing about the need for stability in the Horn of Africa.” Stability in the Horn of Africa is not possible in the event of a destabilization in Ethiopia. “

The special envoy underlined:” The basis for talks leading to a de-escalation and a negotiated ceasefire is in place, “pointing out that the Prime Minister Abiy’s top priority is to get the Tigrayan Defense Forces and Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, the TDF and TPLF, out of the land they occupied in Amhara and Afar states and bring them back to Tigray. He went on to say that the United States shares the Abiy’s goal and the priority that the TDF and TPLF leaders have given the US to break the de facto humanitarian siege that the federal government has put on Tigray since July br />

Ambassador Jeffery noted that these two goals are not mutually exclusive. He said, “With political will, you can achieve both. Unfortunately, each side is trying to achieve its goal by military force and each side seems to believe they are on the verge of victory. “Citing hundreds of thousands of victims and displaced persons from the fighting, he said,” It should be clear that it is there is no military solution. The government must remove the shackles that hinder humanitarian aid and stop offensive military action, and the TDF must stop its advance on Addis. ”The ambassador reiterated his country’s commitment to the underlying Address causes of this conflict through diplomacy. “We don’t take sides here. Rumors that we support a side are simply wrong. We do not intend to engage other than diplomatic engagement on behalf of international efforts to advance a political process, “he said, adding,” Ethiopia’s neighbors, the African Union, the United Nations and the international community all agree: there is no time to waste to turn to diplomacy. ”He said,“ Although both sides are still looking for military options, they are also preoccupied with the idea that there might be other ways to pursue their goals, ”adding,“ I agree again on the sidelines encouraging, but I don’t want to overstate the case. ”

He revealed that there are some among Tigraan leaders who realize that entering Addis is disastrous for themselves and could be disastrous for the country. “You don’t want to be responsible for the collapse of Ethiopia. But they want the siege that has been imposed on Tigray since late June to be lifted. “He also noted that the US believed that” moving to Addis is simply unacceptable and catastrophic. ” by ensuring access to humanitarian aid for Tigray. On the subject of humanitarian aid, he said: “It is no longer just the Tigrayans who are suffering from deprivation in this conflict, there is also a need in Afar and Amhara, in the areas that the TDF is now occupying, where there are civilians, TDF occupation outside of Tigray. So there is a collective need for help to flow. “

The ambassador shared his discussion with the leaders of Tigrayan where he told them,” You must remember that this is not 1991. In 1991, as you know, the TPLF made a popular entry into Addis with the overthrow of the Mengistu regime. The TPLF would encounter relentless hostility if it entered Addis today. This is not the same as in 1991, and we believe the Tigrayan leaders understand that. ”He also brought up the narrative that the United States is nostalgic for a return of the EPRDF, TPLF-dominated regime that had been under Meles Zenawi for 27 years stood: “That is not what we are looking for here. We take no sides in this conflict. We are not trying to tip the balance in favor of the TPLF “, he continued.” Prime Minister Abiy has emerged – his party emerged successfully from the elections in June and further elections in September for other districts. He has a parliament that supports him. Whatever the imperfections in the elections, I think they are – in general, being Prime Minister reflects a popular mandate that we recognize. And so this idea that we side with the TPLF is a fantasy, but it persists. “

” But on Tigray itself the restrictions are largely government imposed and there are multiple layers of restrictions, ”said the ambassador, expressing hope that the government would take serious action to lift some of the restrictions put in place since June. Citing the disruption of basic services in the Tigray region, he said: “It will not be enough for trucks to bring groceries to Mekelle to meet the demand. It takes cash, telecommunications, fuel, and so on. “The special envoy stressed the role of access to humanitarian aid:” To support the argument of the Tigrayan leaders as strongly as possible that they should not try to do Addis under the guise of To break through the humanitarian siege, to be allowed to enter, that there are other ways “to achieve these goals without plunging Addis into a bloodbath or chaos.”