US envoy for the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer met with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen in Addis Ababa on Friday as part of efforts to end the conflict in the north, the official news agency reported. ethiopian news ENA.
Details about the length and schedule of his stay in Ethiopia were not disclosed.
After a five-month truce raised hopes of peace talks, fighting resumed on 24 August in northern Ethiopia between the Ethiopian federal army – backed by forces from the Tigray border regions and the Eritrean army – and rebels from the breakaway region of Tigray.
After an earlier visit in September, Hammer returned to the region on October 3 for 15 days to “achieve an immediate cessation of hostilities in northern Ethiopia and support the launch of peace talks under the auspices of the African Union.” , depending on the state. Department.
The federal government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the rebel authorities in Tigray said in early October that they were willing to attend talks in South Africa called by the AU.
But these talks could not take place, mainly due to organizational and logistical problems, according to diplomats, and the fighting continues.
During the discussion with Hammer on Friday, Demeke, who is also foreign minister, “reaffirmed the government’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the north of the country,” according to a Foreign Office tweet.
On Wednesday, the United States, along with other Western countries, urged the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebels to start AU-led peace talks and called on Eritrea to withdraw its troops from northern Ethiopia.
The fighting began in November 2020 after forces loyal to the TPLF attacked a federal army base, killing troops and looting weapons. Human rights groups have accused the warring sides of committing atrocities.