ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has gone by his earlier stance that his government will not sit for dialogue with the outlawed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), whose leaders are resisting a call to surrender as war rages for a third week.
Three former African leaders that constitute the Envoy of the African Union for Ethiopia on Friday met with Abiy.
The former Presidents of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano, of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Thursday to try and help find a solution to the conflict in the Horn of Africa’s northernmost region of Tigray.
Prime Minister Abiy earlier expressed his government’s stand that he would meet with the African Union envoys but will not allow for a dialogue with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who he described as “Greedy Junta”.
On Nov. 4, Ethiopia launched a massive ‘law enforcement operation’ after the TPLF forces stormed the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), killing soldiers and looting military assets.
The operation reached what the government said was its third and last phase after the Ethiopian army encircled the city of Mekele, capital of Tigray region, and making advances into the city after a 72-hour ultimatum the Ethiopian leader offered for the TPLF leadership to surrender expired on Thursday.
“During the discussions, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed briefed the Special Envoys on the background to Ethiopia’s rule of law operations currently underway in the Tigray region,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office said.
It said: “The Prime Minister discussed at length the patience with which his government handled the provocations and destabilization agenda the TPLF orchestrated for more than two years.”
More than 41,000 Ethiopians already fled the military confrontations into neighboring Sudan, according to a UNHCR report that also said it expects the figure to rise up to 200,000.
A report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission already confirmed that more than 600 Ethiopians were ethnically profiled and massacred by TPLF youth group called “Samri” at the Maikadra locality in Western Tigray./aa