Ethiopian PM Cool On Ramaphosa's Efforts to Instigate Peace Talks With Tigray People's Liberation Front

analysis

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appears to have shunned President Cyril Ramaphosa's attempt to instigate peace talks by calling it fake news, but his willingness to receive three envoys has ignited some hope.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday called on the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) forces to surrender to the national government within 72 hours or face "being condemned forever in the books of history". Abiy posted a strongly-worded statement on Twitter in English, a language understood in Ethiopia by only a small number.

The statement comes a day after Abiy shunned efforts by President Cyril Ramaphosa, as African Union chair, to send three high-level mediators to help end the war in the northern Tigray region, which has entered its third week.

In the statement, addressed to Ethiopians, Abiy called the TPLF forces a "treasonous clique" which he said had taken hostage the capital of the Tigray region, Mekelle, and which the national army will now attempt to reclaim. According to official reports - there is no way to verify official information because of a media blackout - the national defence force has already taken surrounding towns.

Abiy, in his statement, announced that the "third and final...

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