© Reuters February 25, 2022 A tank is seen destroyed by bullets during the fighting between the Tigray National Defense Army and Tigray People’s Liberation Army militants in the town of Kasagita in the Afar region.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Forces that have been fighting with the central government for two years in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region said on Sunday that they are ready to cease fire and accept the peace process led by the African Union.
“We are ready to end the war immediately and by mutual agreement,” the Tigray forces announced in a statement.
Tigrai has “immediately established a ready negotiation team,” the statement said. Ethiopia’s federal government said the African Union should facilitate peace talks in June.
Legese Tulu, the spokesperson of the Ethiopian government, did not respond to the questions.
The government has already said it is willing to enter into talks without any conditions.
The United Nations is ready to support the peace process led by the African Union, said Stefan Dujarric, the spokesperson of the United Nations.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the parties to seize this opportunity for peace and take steps to end the violence and opt for dialogue, Dujarric said.
The forces of Tigray have been at war with the federal government of Ethiopia since November 2020. The forces of Tigray have accused Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of centralizing their power at the expense of the regions of Ethiopia. But Abi denied.
Abiy forces of Tigray – led by the People’s Democratic Party of Tigray (HPT) accused them of trying to restore ethnic politics. But they denied it.
“The next step is to conclude a comprehensive cease-fire agreement and hold a comprehensive political dialogue to resolve the issues that are the root cause of the current conflict,” a statement from the Tigray natives said. He said the negotiating team included TPLF Spokesperson Getachew Reda and General Tsadkan Gegemnasae.
The HPP has previously said it wants free access to humanitarian aid and services such as banking and telephone connections before negotiations begin.
The conflict in northern Ethiopia has displaced millions and thousands have lost their lives. Fighting broke out again last month following a months-long ceasefire.