US envoy Heads To Ethiopia To Urge An End To The Fighting

US envoy Heads To Ethiopia To Urge An End To The Fighting
US envoy Heads To Ethiopia To Urge An End To The Fighting

 

 

US President Joe Biden is sending his Horn of Africa Special Envoy to Ethiopia to push for an end to the escalating fighting that has heightened fears of an ongoing humanitarian disaster.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan announced the trip of envoy Jeffrey Feltman on Thursday while urging the Ethiopian government and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) to come to the negotiating table after nine months of conflict.

“Months of war have brought immense suffering and division to a great nation that will not be healed by more fighting,” Sullivan tweeted.

“We call on all parties to come to the negotiating table urgently,” he said Federal troops under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and forces of the TPLF, which controls Tigray, have been fighting since November in a war that has claimed thousands of lives and triggered a major refugee crisis. The conflict has been marked by ethnic killings and rape as a weapon of war.

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In July, the United Nations warned that more than 100,000 children in Tigray could suffer from life-threatening malnutrition over the next 12 months. A total of 400,000 people are at risk of famine in the region, according to the UN, with aid workers saying they have struggled to gain access.

Earlier this week, TPLF forces said they were in talks to forge a military alliance with fighters in Ethiopia’s most populous region, Oromiya, putting pressure on the Addis Ababa government.

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The group had chosen to ally with the TPLF, which it had fiercely opposed during its three decades in the power in Ethiopia, because they now have a common cause.

“I hope we will press this government and if possible – and I know it is possible – we will overthrow this regime and stop this crisis,” said OLA chief Kumsa Diriba, who bears the name. war Jaal Marroo.

The government has designated both the TPLF and the OLA as “terrorist” organizations.

Also this week, Abiy’s government urged citizens to join the fight against the resurgence of TPLF. He said all capable Ethiopians should join the army, special forces, and militias to show their patriotism.

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After regaining control of most of Tigray in late June and early July, Tigrayan forces pushed into neighboring Afar and Amhara regions, capturing the United Nations World Heritage site of Lalibela last week.

Feltman’s mission follows a trip earlier this month to Addis Ababa by US aid chief Samantha Power, which urged all parties to end hostilities and warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe “imminent if more help cannot come in.