Africa: Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed in Senegal for One-Day Visit

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (file photo).
8 September 2021

Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday arrived in the Senegalese capital Dakar for a one-day visit.

Officials say Mr Ahmed is in the West African country for talks on bilateral ties between the two countries.

Senegal's President Macky Sall announced the visit via a tweet prior to Ahmed's arrival, noting that the visit was aimed at discussing "subjects of common interest, in the spirit of the excellent relations" between our two countries.

Prime Minister Ahmed and his delegation landed at the Blaise Diagne International Airport, where he was received by top Senegalese government officials before he was transported to Dakar for a scheduled meeting with President Sall and other senior Senegalese government officials.

The Ethiopian government said the Prime Minister will be holding talks with Sall on a wide range of issues, including bilateral and continental issues of "mutual concern."

It is the latest leg in an ongoing regional tour by the Ethiopian PM who appears to be on a shuttle diplomacy to shore up support for his country's war, which faces growing international scrutiny.

Last week Prime Minister Ahmed visited Uganda and Rwanda and held talks with the respective leaders of those countries.

Prior to that he also visited Eritrea, South Sudan and Turkey. Reports have indicated that Turkey has been assisting Ethiopia with drones in its fights in the Tigray region.

Ethiopia is under pressure from the international community to negotiate with the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). It has notably come under pressure from the African Union to remove the "terrorist" tag on the TPLF, as part of ongoing efforts to get the two sides to the table for a peaceful resolution of the crisis that has created an international humanitarian situation.

The AU in August appointed former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as its representative in the Horn of Africa with the mission to "promote peace, security, stability, and political dialogue".

But the TPLF has been unkeen to cooperate over the failure to recognize its cause as genuine, accusing the AU of bias over this.

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