US envoy Feltman to visit Ethiopia for peace talks with officials

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US envoy Feltman to visit Ethiopia for peace talks with officials

WASHINGTON – US Horn of Africa envoy Jeffrey Feltman will travel to Ethiopia on Thursday for meetings with senior government officials to discuss the peace talks, a senior State Department official said as part of the trip. of Washington’s latest attempt to end the conflict.

The year-long war between the Ethiopian government and the leaders of the northern Tigray region, among Africa’s bloodiest conflicts, has killed thousands of civilians and displaced millions of people.

Washington has repeatedly called for an end to hostilities and a negotiated resolution to the conflict, an end to human rights abuses and violations, and unhindered humanitarian access.

“Feltman will be in Addis on January 6 for meetings with senior government officials to discuss the peace talks,” the official said of Feltman’s upcoming visit to Addis Ababa.

Tigrayan forces fighting the central government last month withdrew from neighboring areas in northern Ethiopia, a step towards a possible ceasefire after major territorial gains by the Ethiopian military. Read more

Last week, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the pullout, and the Ethiopian government saying it did not intend to pursue these forces in Tigray, offered the parties an opportunity to come to the negotiating table.

But airstrikes in Tigray continued, killing dozens of civilians, and no aid convoy has been able to enter since mid-December, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report by the United Nations. December 30.

Washington has increasingly stepped up pressure to try to end the fighting, with Feltman having visited the region several times as part of a diplomatic push.

The United States on Saturday denied Ethiopia access to a duty-free trade program, following President Joe Biden’s threat in November to do so over alleged human rights violations in the Tigray region. Read more

In November, the United States imposed sanctions on the Eritrean military and other people and entities based in Eritrea, as Washington warned it was ready to take action against other parties to the conflict.

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