The Ethiopian government is committed to the ongoing mediation process, under the auspices of the African Union (AU), which aims to find a political solution to the conflict in the country’s north, an official has said.
The Prime Minister's Office Press Secretary, Billene Seyoum, on Monday said that the Ethiopian government is committed to ending the civil war. However, the peace process is complex and takes some time, she said.
“Any peace process is long. It is not easy. It is a complex,” Billene told reporters.
Ethiopia attaches great importance to the African Union mediator, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ms Billene added.
The announcement came a few days after African Union Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, met with Tigray leaders and federal officials over the conflict in the north.
Last week, Mr Obasanjo was in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray, where he met Debretsion Gebremichael, regional president and leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
After his visit, the former Nigerian President said efforts to end the war in northern Ethiopia through dialogue are slow but “marching forward”.
The process is better than it was six months ago, he added.
“Now they [the Ethiopian government and TPLF] have made a humanitarian truce. This has to be elevated to a negotiated ceasefire. And that agreement has to transform into a cessation of hostilities,” said Obasanjo.
Also read: There is hope for peace in Ethiopia, UN says
He added that the continental bloc is paying utmost attention to the Ethiopian conflict.
A diplomatic source on Tuesday told The EastAfrican that the AU Special Envoy is working to create trust between Tigray leaders and federal government.
“The AU mediation body wants to ensure unfettered delivery of aid to Tigray and bring about a negotiated ceasefire between the two warring parties,” the source who sought anonymity told The EastAfrican.
Obasanjo, a mediator under the auspices of the African Union, has visited Ethiopia at various times and has frequently met with Tigray leaders and senior government officials, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
On Thursday, Obasanjo travelled to Bale, southern Ethiopia, and was seen with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the state-run Ethiopian Television.
Obasanjo has been shuttling between Tigray and federal government for meetings with the aim of bringing a lasting solution to end the 18-months-long Tigray conflict.
The conflict between the Ethiopian government and Tigray forces, who are in control of the country's northern Tigray region, has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and left more than five million people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance.