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Ethiopia declines Sudanese offer to mediate Tigray crisis


Ethiopians who fled the ongoing fighting in Tigray region gather at the Um-Rakoba camp in Kassala state, Sudan December 17, 2020 (Reuters photo)August 5, 2021 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia declined Sudan’s offer to broker a negotiated settlement to end the armed conflict in Tigray and allow humanitarian access to the troubled region.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok who chairs the East African bloc of IGAD proposed to mediate between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Several leaders in the region and the international community support the offer which the Sudanese premier had also discussed with the two parties and Eritrea which was not very enthusiastic about the idea.

Commenting on a report the Sudan Tribune published Thursday, Billene Seyoum, Spokesperson of the Prime Minister Office told reporters that Sudan should first resolve the border dispute with Ethiopia before being entrusted for such mediation.

"The relationship with Sudan is a little bit tricky because the level of some leaders has already been eroded particularly with the Sudanese army incursions into Ethiopian territory," Seyoum said in a press briefing held on Thursday.

"Trust is the basis of any negotiation and any mediation, as well. So that element needs to be thoroughly addressed before Sudan could be entertained as a credible party in terms of facilitating such kind of negotiations," she stressed.

Sudanese officials say they believe that the continued armed conflict near its eastern border would affect the country as a result of the restrictions on humanitarian access to the northern Ethiopia region.

The United States voiced her support to the Sudanese initiative but Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed did not meet USAID Administrator Samantha Power during a one-day.

Power only met with the Ethiopian Peace Minister Muferihat Kamil who briefed her about the humanitarian aid his government provides to the civilians in Tigray.

"I once again called for a cessation of hostilities and unfettered humanitarian access," she tweeted before leaving in Addis Ababa.


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