Ethiopia, Tigray Meet for Talks in South Africa

Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • On Tuesday, delegates from the warring Ethiopian government and rival Tigray forces met in Pretoria, South Africa, for peace talks. It's their first formal meeting after nearly two years of conflict. The talks will last until Oct. 30, according to a government spokesperson.

  • The talks are being brokered by the African Union (AU) and facilitated by former Nigerian Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo, recently-resigned Kenyan Pres. Uhuru Kenyatta, and former South African Deputy Pres. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The Spin

Narrative A

As federal government forces gain more ground against the TPLF, it seems like a good time for peace talks to begin. The conflict has led to too many casualties, and the only way for it to end is for the rebels to acknowledge Ethiopian authority and agree to unify as one country again.

Narrative B

Though the history of Ethiopia-Tigray relations is complicated, the fact remains that before gaining power 30 years ago, Tigrayans were a poor, victimized group with no political agency within the Ethiopian government. If Tigray concedes to the Ethiopian government now, they may very well end up back in a state of poverty and powerlessness.

Nerd narrative

There's a 39% chance that there will be a bilateral ceasefire of at least 30 days in the Tigray war before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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