The Ethiopian government announced that it is ready to negotiate with a rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) without any precondition.
Addis Ababa had demanded the TPLF forces to lay arms if any negotiation is to take place with the government.
While briefing UN special envoys and Ambassadors from EU, USA, France, Germany , Italy and UK, Redwan Hussien, Ethiopian Prime Minister Advisor on security affairs said the government is ready to negotiate with TPLF anytime, anywhere and without pre-conditions.
In a Twitter message on Saturday Hussien indicated that the diplomats are briefed that the African Union will lead the process and “can solicit logistical support from any source.”
We also briefed the team regarding efforts made to create a collaborative environment and narrow gaps with a commission of experts of UN, .. announced that they are allowed for a round trip to Mekele ,” he further said.
TPLF, on the other hand, has announced preconditions for the negotiation. It is threatening to go to war if its preconditions are not met.
The withdrawal of Ethiopian forces from what it called the Tigray region (from the perspective of TPLF is a reference to Wolkait region and the resumption of services including banking and communication are among the preconditions.
The U.S. government had been, as indicated in multiple statements from the State Department, demanding the Ethiopian government to withdraw forces from what it calls “Western Tigray” – like the TPLF.
The TPLF also does not accept, as it has announced last month, the African Union as an entity to lead the negotiation. It believes that the organisation is close to the Ethiopian government.