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Ethiopia’s Formal Peace Talks Begin In Pretoria

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Following a fierce surge in fighting in recent weeks, the two ethiopian warring sides have agreed to engage in formal face to face peace negotiations in Pretoria, South Africa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesman Vincent Magwenya told reporters that negotiations would run until October 30.

“They have been convened to find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the devastating conflict,” he said.

He said, “the talks will proceed constructively and result in a successful outcome that leads to peace for all the people of our dear sister country.”

Dialogue between negotiators from the Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the regional authorities in war-stricken Tigray was launched almost two months to the day since fighting resumed, shattering a five-month truce.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has welcomed the negotiations that commenced on Tuesday.

“There is no military solution to this conflict, and these talks represent the most promising way to achieve lasting peace and prosperity for all Ethiopians,” Blinken said.

The dialogue is being facilitated by AU Horn of Africa envoy and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, along with Kenya’s former leader Uhuru Kenyatta and South Africa’s ex-vice president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, with a US envoy, Mike Hammer, participating.

AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat welcomed the launch of the eagerly-awaited process.

He said he was “encouraged by the early demonstration of commitment to peace by the parties” and reiterated the AU’s continued support for a process “to silence the guns towards a united, stable, peaceful and resilient Ethiopia.”