African and Western nations have called for an immediate ceasefire in Ethiopia on Thursday, after Tigrayan forces from the country’s north made advances towards the capital this week.
The U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, arrived in Addis Ababa to press for a halt on military operations and a start to ceasefire talks.
African Union Commission Chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he met Feltman to discuss efforts towards dialogue and political solutions to the conflict, which puts the central government against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and its allies.
The European Union and the East African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), joined the chorus of bodies calling for a ceasefire. Ugandan President, YoweriMuseveni, announced an IGAD meeting on November 16 to discuss the war.
Kenyan President,Uhuru Kenyatta, urged the rival parties to lay down their arms and find a path to peace.
“The fighting must stop!” he said in a statement.
United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said he had spoken to Ethiopian Prime Minister,Abiy Ahmed, on Wednesday and offered to help create the conditions for a dialogue.
Prime Minister Ahmed’s government, declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, as the Tigrayan forces threatened to push forward to Addis Ababa.
TPLF spokesman, Getachew Reda, said on Wednesday, TPLF troops were in the town of Kemise in Amhara state, 325 km (200 miles) from the capital.
The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa authorised the voluntary departure of some staff and family members because of the intensifying hostilities.
Washington said on Wednesday, he was “gravely concerned” about the situation and called for a halt to military operations and ceasefire talks.
The year-long conflict has killed thousands of people, forced more than two million more from their homes, and left 400,000 people in Tigray facing famine.
The United States, the European Union and the United Nations, said that an end to a de facto government blockade in Tigray is needed to avert a large-scale famine.
No humanitarian convoys have entered Tigray since October 18, and no fuel has entered to aid the humanitarian response since early August, according to the United Nations. -Reuters