While peace talks are taking place in South Africa, various statements and organized events from both warring parties in the Ethiopian conflict delineate the valiance and determination of the warring parties to win the war.
The long-anticipated negotiation between the Federal government of Ethiopia and TPLF began in South Africa on Oct 25 for the first time since the conflict in Northern Ethiopia erupted and has been protracted for about two years since November 2020.
Though both parties disclosed their readiness to end the war through peace talks as they sent their representatives to the negotiation, unverified reports are emerging that the Ethiopian army is advancing into Tigray taking control of major towns in the region.
In a press briefing Debretsion Gebremichael (P.hd.), Chairman of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) gave yesterday he said, “the enemy who enters Tigray is not where he wants to be, but where he will be buried.”
He also called upon Tigrayans living in the country and abroad to respond to his administration’s call to arms.
Condemning the participation of Eritrean troops in the war he urged the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Ethiopian and the Eritrean troops to stand against the ongoing war
“Talking about Sovereignty is shameful while the Eritrean troops are committing heinous crimes and invading Tigray,” said Debretsion.
The Government’s Communication Service on Oct 24 stated in a statement that “the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) has continued taking control of major urban centers [in the region] in the past few days. The ENDF has succeeded in avoiding combat in urban areas while debilitating the military capabilities of TPLF.”
The Ethiopian National Defence Forces also issued a call today for armed fighters of the TPLF who it said are dispersed in the recent measures it has taken in the region to surrender by going to freed areas in Tigray or neighboring regions.
ETV, the national broadcaster, released a documentary film on Oct 22, that denounces and claims to show the defenseless situation TPLF is in the resumed conflict.
Three days before the negotiation was expected to commence, mass demonstrations were held in the capital Addis Ababa and other major towns in the country aimed at decrying “the intervention of Western countries and other outsiders in Ethiopia's internal affairs.” Slogans condemning TPLF and acclaiming ENDF were also displayed at the rallies.
Member of the Executive Committee of one of the major opposition parties, Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party, Maeregu Girma told Addis Zeybe that, “despite the fact that the negotiation is expected to be conducted without any pre-conditions, the war is still going on and the media are reporting what is happening on the ground. This seems to contradict the essence of the peace talk.”
It has been reported that delegates from the warring parties have met in person in South Africa for the first formal peace talks since the outbreak of the two-year-old devastating war in Northern Ethiopia.
The South African presidency announced that the peace talk will run until Oct 30.
The talks "have been convened to find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the devastating conflict," Vincent Magwenya, spokesman for President Cyril Ramaphosa, told reporters.