Nairobi, Kenya (AP) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed on Friday denounced talks once again with defiant Tigre region leaders, but said he was ready to speak with “legally functioning” delegates at a meeting with three African Union special envoys. End deadly conflict between federal forces and territorial forces.
The meeting took place as people fled the capital of Tigre after Abi said he had ordered the army to move for the “final stage” of the attack. To arrest the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front who are running the area. The Abi government and the regional one consider the other to be illegal.
There was no immediate word from the three AU ambassadors, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Mozambican President Joaquim Chisano and former South African President Kalema Motlante. AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo did not say whether the ambassadors would meet with TUPLF leaders, something the Abi office declined to say.
The Prime Minister praised the AU ambassadors’ “concern for the elderly” and told them that his government’s failure to enforce the rule of law in Tigre “promotes a culture of impunity at a cost devastating to the survival of the country.”
Last year Nobel Peace Prize laureate Abi rejected international “intervention”.
Fighting outside McClellan, which has a population of half a million, is well underway, with the Ethiopian government warning that it will “have no mercy” if it does not separate itself from TPLF leaders. Abi told residents on Thursday to stay indoors and disarm as the army was ordered to go inside with tanks. His government pledged to protect civilians.
With the severance of communication and transport ties, it is difficult to confirm the arguments about the November 4 fighting between Ethiopian forces and the TPLF’s heavily armed forces, which once dominated the Ethiopian government but sidelined the Abi regime.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people were killed. The fight threatens to destabilize Ethiopia, which has been described as the lynchpin of the strategic Horn of Africa, and destabilizes its neighbors as well.
Food and other supplies are running out in the Tigre region, which has a population of 6 million. The United Nations continues to seek immediate access to neutral and impartial humanitarians. The Ethiopian government has said it will open a “humanitarian access path” under the auspices of the country’s peace ministry without details.
Multiple crises are on the rise. Some of the thousands of refugees from Eritrea living in camps in northern Ethiopia are on fire.
Refugees told the Associated Press that Ethiopian forces near the Sudanese border were preventing people from leaving Ethiopia, and that refugee crossings had largely slowed. The Ethiopian government did not comment.
More than 40,000 refugees have fled to remote areas of Sudan, where local communities and humanitarian workers are struggling to provide food, shelter and care. Nearly half of the refugees are children. The prevalence of COVID-19 is only a concern.
“We cannot keep social distance in the camp here,” said Mohammed Rafiq Nasri of the UN refugee agency. “This is really a challenge because of the growing number of problems, because this number is growing. Today we are receiving the 1,000 convoy that arrived at the camp. Shelter is one of the biggest challenges we currently have.”
Frightened, sometimes without the word of loved ones, refugees share terrible accounts of the struggle and beg to stop it.
“It simply came to our notice then. The country has no peace. You will see one tribe killing another. It is very difficult, ”said Atsbaha Gtsadic.
Fe Abulgasim assisted in Um Raqouba in Sudan.