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Ethiopia accuses envoys of appeasing Tigray rebels

Kalkidan Yibeltal
Friday August 5, 2022

Embattled Tigray region has been cut off from some basic services

Ethiopia has accused a team of Western diplomats of "appeasing" Tigrayan forces during a recent trip to Mekelle, the capital of the embattled northern region.

The European Union’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Annette Weber, her US counterpart Mike Hammer and ambassadors from five other Western countries travelled earlier in the week to the region and met senior figures, including Debretsion Gebremichael - the leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

But Redwan Hussien, the prime minister’s security adviser and a member of a negotiating team set up by Addis Ababa, said in a tweet that the diplomats “failed to press unequivocal commitment for peace talks” during their travel.

In a joint statement following their trip, the envoys called for the resumption of basic services in Tigray, including banking, electricity and telecommunications.

Mr Redwan said the government’s position is that “enabling conditions” should be created and the talks should begin ahead of restoration efforts.

Meanwhile in a statement on Thursday, Tigrayan forces accused the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia, an investigation body set up by the UN, of “intentionally eschewing meaningful communications” with the region.

They said this could risk its impartiality and “guarantee the entrenchment of impunity”.

Members of the commission - who are expected to probe allegations of atrocities during the brutal civil war - made their first trip to Addis Ababa at the end of last month but did not travel to Tigray.

The commission has called on individuals and organisations to submit information on alleged crimes online with a deadline later in August.

But with most of Tigray cut off from the internet, there are concerns that those in the region with possible evidences might not be able to share them with the investigators.


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