The African Union (AU)-led peace talks between the Ethiopian government and the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) will officially start next week, an official announced here.
“The African Union Commission (AUC) has informed us that peace talks are set for October 24, to be held in South Africa. We have reconfirmed our commitment to peace,” Xinhua news agency Redwan Hussien, the national security advisor to the Prime Minister, said in a tweet on Thursday.
Hussien further accused unspecified parties of intending to pre-empt the peace talks and spreading false allegations against the “defensive measures” the government is undertaking in the country’s conflict-hit northern Tigray region.
The peace talks were previously planned for October 8, but they were postponed reportedly for “logistical and technical reasons”.
While the AU is yet to officially confirm the new date for the proposed peace talks, the TPLF is also yet to reply.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, has seen a devastating conflict between government-allied troops and forces loyal to the TPLF since November 2020, which has left millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Humanitarian aid had been heading to the Tigray region after the government and the rebel forces agreed to a conditional cessation of hostilities and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid into the region in late March.
Conflict resumed in August as the government and TPLF accused each other of resuming fighting.
The resumption of fighting has led to the halting of humanitarian aid flowing into the Tigray region.