Ethiopia’s Tigray Rebels Claim Readiness For African Union Talks

Image copyright: AFP/Getty Images [via Fox News]

The Facts

  • Ethiopia's Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) announced Sun. that it is ready for peace talks led by the African Union (AU), amid the latest outbreak of fighting between the armed group and forces loyal to the central government after a months-long ceasefire.

  • While removing a key hurdle to negotiations with Addis Ababa, the TPLF declared their willingness to an "immediate and consensual cessation of hostilities" to enable the talks. However, the rebels said that credible talks depended on "mutually acceptable" mediators and international observers.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed not only engages in collective punishment against the Tigrayans but also uses starvation as a weapon. Even though the U.S.'s push for peace talks is welcome, one thing is certain: Abiy isn't using negotiations to achieve real peace, but rather as a delaying tactic to reposition his troops. In his brutal war, he can not only count on Eritrean support but also on drones from Turkey and Iran. It's the U.S.'s moral duty to stand by the TPLF and its defense forces.

Establishment-critical narrative

It's certainly no coincidence that Western envoys met with TPLF leaders before the latter resumed fighting in late August. By unilaterally taking sides with the TPLF, the U.S. and EU are encouraging its leaders to take dangerous actions, thereby furthering Ethiopia's destabilization. In doing so, the TPLF doesn't shy away from looting aid intended for the population in Tigray. Peace talks may now finally be taking place, but it remains to be seen how serious the TPLF and its supporters support peace.

Establishment split



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