Ethiopian Government, Tigray Rebels Accept Peace Talks Invitation

    Photo: AFP [via DW]

    The Facts

    • On Wednesday, the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) leadership reportedly accepted the African Union's (AU) invitation to participate in peace talks. The negotiations are scheduled to begin on Saturday in South Africa.

    • According to Addis Ababa, the invitation is consistent with the government's position of holding "talks without preconditions." The TPLF also expressed its agreement but requested further specifics on participants, observers, and guarantors.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The TPLF started the war in 2020 and has so far shown no real interest in constructive talks to end hostilities, instead using government-initiated humanitarian ceasefires merely as tactical breathing space. The rebels are taking their Ethiopian compatriots' hostage and even stealing aid supplies. But military and international pressure are growing. For the people of Ethiopia, one can only hope that the TPLF and their Western accomplices are serious about peace this time.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    All previous attempts by Ethiopian PM Abiy to break the Tigrayans' resistance through collective punishment and starvation have failed, but in the meantime, the economic situation is also increasingly deteriorating. So even if Abiy has so far used negotiations only as a delaying tactic to reposition his troops, perhaps this time, the will for peace will prevail in Addis Ababa — in great thanks to the US, which has always advocated for peace and negotiations in Ethiopia.

    Establishment split



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