Roundup: Ethiopian gov't expresses support to African-led solutions amid expanding conflict

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ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Thursday reiterated its support to African-led solutions amid expanding conflict in northern parts of Ethiopia.

The remark was made by Dina Mufti, a spokesperson for Ethiopia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as he emphasized that "it is always in the interest of the Ethiopian government to overcome difficulties and hurdles through peace."

"The war is imposed on the government and it is not in the interest of Ethiopia to conduct such a way. However, always Ethiopia is interested in peaceful settlement of the dispute but there are conditions that should be met in order to realize peace," the spokesperson told journalists in his periodic briefing.

According to Mufti, one among the conditions set by the government is a recognition of the legitimate Ethiopian government, which was elected by the people of Ethiopia.

He also stressed that forces loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) should leave the neighboring regions that it has occupied, Amhara and Afar regional states, and should refrain from all acts of provocations.

"We are always in favor of giving African solutions to the African problems; and this is an African problem and African solution is a proper solution," he said.

Chairperson of the 55-member African Union (AU) Commission had previously assigned the former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo as his High Representative to the Horn of Africa, with particular emphasis given to bringing a lasting solution to the conflict in Ethiopia.

According to Mufti, Obasanjo is presently in a fact-finding mission in Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson denounced concerted propaganda undertaken by various forces about impending threats in Ethiopia, which he said is not true.

"There are a lot of fake propagandas, misinformations and disinformations by some major media outlets about the encirclement of the city of Addis Ababa by the TPLF junta, which is not true," he told reporters.

Amid escalating conflict in northern parts of the East African country between the Ethiopian federal government and forces loyal to the TPLF, the Ethiopian House of People's Representatives (HoPR) had last week endorsed a six-month nationwide state of emergency rule.

The decision to impose the state of emergency rule also came in line with the national call to support the Ethiopian army in the ongoing fighting against rebel forces, including the call to veteran members of the Ethiopian army to fight alongside the Ethiopian defense forces.

With regards to the contents of the state of emergency rule, Mufti noted that it was "designed in such a way that it does not hurt the interest of the diplomatic community and others, especially international residents in the country."

The spokesperson further emphasized that the Ethiopian government holds the upper hand both in terms of ground infantry and aerial capabilities in the ongoing fighting with the rebel group.

Over the past several days, the TPLF declared control of key cities in Amhara region, Dessie and Kombolcha, some 380 km north of the capital. This was, eventually, followed by huge popular mobilization by the Amhara and Afar regions as well as other regional states in the country to fight back the TPLF's expansion.

Since the early hours of Nov. 4, 2020, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF.

In late June, the government announced a unilateral ceasefire in Tigray, but forces loyal to the TPLF soon took control of much of the area in the region, including the regional capital.

The conflict has since expanded to Tigray's neighboring Amhara and Afar regions.

The HoPR, the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament, has designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization.

Last week, the Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat had called for the immediate cessation of hostilities, the full respect for the life and property of civilians, as well as state infrastructure," an AU statement read, urging the parties to the conflict to engage in dialogue and seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the country. Enditem

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