Ousted leaders of the former ruling party in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, who have been on the run for more than three months, have issued conditions for peace talks.
The statement was broadcast by TMH, a media house which is affiliated to the TPLF party.
The conflict in Tigray erupted in early November 2020 when federal troops launched an offensive to oust the TPLF after its fighters captured military bases.
The TPLF’s list of demands include:
- The withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray. Both Ethiopia and Eritrea deny Eritrea’s involvement in the Tigray conflict
- The withdrawal of other “invading forces”. Amhara forces have also been fighting in Tigray, and are in control of some areas.
- An independent inquiry in “ethnic cleansing” and the destruction caused by the conflict
- Access to the region for humanitarian aid to reach 4.5 million people who urgently need help
- The unconditional release of political prisoners
- And the disbandment of Tigray’s interim administration set up after the conflict
- Any peace talks would have to be led by an independent international body, it added.
Earlier this week, the new authorities in Tigray warned people against sheltering anyone trying to destabilise the region.
Several veteran and retired TPLF leaders have been killed or captured, but the party’s more active and military leaders are still fighting.
This is despite the government saying the conflict was over after the capture of the regional capital, Mekelle, at the end of November.