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Ethiopia Peace Talk set to take place in South Africa…

The African Union has not yet confirmed that the planned peace talks between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF rebels will not take place this Sunday.

Olusegun Obasanjo, African Union Special Envoy for East Africa (Photo Source: FBC)

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Planned peace talks between the Ethiopian government and rebel groups in Ethiopia’s Tigray region – TPLF (which the Ethiopian government has designated as a terrorist group) are postponed indefinitely.

It was to take place this Sunday in Pretoria, South Africa.

On Friday, Reuters quoted diplomats and what it called the “Tigray forces” to report that the peace talks are being delayed due to logistics.

The Ethiopian government announced earlier this week that it is accepting the African Union’s invitation for a peace talks which was to take place this weekend as long as there are no preconditions and it is the African Union leading the peace process.

He also announced that the Ethiopian government would not stop its actions against rebel groups, although it said it was ready for peace talks.

For its part, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has accepted the AU’s invitation for the peace talks. However, Debretsion Gebremichael, president of the organization, requested clarification on logistics for TPLF representatives and security guarantee negotiators.

The African Union on Thursday praised the Ethiopian government and rebel forces in the Tigray region for their “commitment” to the peace talks.

In a response letter to the AU’s invitation for peace, the TPLF chairman mentioned that his organization had not been consulted on the peace talks (there is no indication so far whether the Ethiopian government was also consulted).

Getachew Reda, the organization’s spokesman, told Reuters, in a text message, saying “you don’t just expect people to show up on a certain date as if it’s a ‘some kind of reunion’, perhaps an indication that the peace talks have been delayed due to the TPLF.

The African Union has not, at the time of writing, confirmed that the conference scheduled for Sunday is canceled or postponed.

However, there is circumstantial evidence that the peace talks will not take place next Sunday.

Leaders of Ethiopia’s ruling party, including those named as negotiators in the peace talks, sit for a meeting in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

In addition, Uhuru Kenyatta, former president of Kenya, announced that he could not go to the peace talks in South Africa.

He was chosen by the African Union as a panelist to help former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who is in charge of the peace talks.

Many Ethiopian and Eritrean activists tend to think that Mr. Uhuru is a US agent interested in advancing the cause of the TPLF. His recent Twitter post in which he referred to rebel groups as “Tigray” was met with a flood of condemnation from activists.

The Twitter account that Mr. Uhuru appears to have used to deliver the message is suspended.

It has been nearly two years since the TPLF unexpectedly attacked the northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces – an incident that sparked a “law and order operation” by the Ethiopian government that escalated into a bloody war in full share.

New drone strikes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Friday that an airstrike killed at least five people at a location about 18 kilometers from Mekelle. 37 others would be injured.

The Ethiopian government has yet to respond to the attack.

Earlier this week, TPLF forces lost control of Kobo, a town in Ethiopia’s Amhara region. But he said they withdrew their forces from Kobo due to military strategy.

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