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Foreign envoys arrive in Tigray to urge dialogue

Kalkidan Yibeltal
Wednesday August 3, 2022

Special envoys from the European Union and US have travelled to the northern Ethiopian city of Mekelle, capital of the embattled Tigray region, as part of international efforts to see a peaceful resolution to a 21-month-old civil war.

Pictures released by media outlets affiliated with Tigrayan forces show the EU’s special representative, Annette Weber, and her US counterpart, Mike Hammer, meeting senior officials in the region including its head Debretsion Gebremicheal.

This is the envoys’ first joint mission to the city, and it comes amid encouraging signs of possible peace talks between the federal government and Tigrayan forces.

"Political dialogue is necessary to resolve the conflict in northern Ethiopia and achieve durable peace," a joint statement by the diplomats released on Tuesday read.

While the two envoys welcomed "public commitment by both parties to engage in talks" they also called for the immediate restoration of basic services in the region - such as electricity, telecommunications and banking.

Most of Tigray has been without these services for more than a year.

Tigrayan forces have been calling for the resumption of the services, but a senior government official said last week that Addis Ababa was ready for the talks "without preconditions".


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