Ethiopia -On Friday, a European Union delegate for the Horn of Africa said she was “cautiously optimistic” that Ethiopia’s state of emergency would be abolished in the near future by parliament. Early in November, the state of emergency was declared as Tigrayan forces battling Ethiopian and coalition forces advanced closer to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
After an offensive by federal forces and their allies in late December and early January, they withdrew back into the northern Tigray region. The EU’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Annette Weber, said she had spoken with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed regarding the state of emergency being lifted.
“After chatting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, I am cautiously optimistic that the parliament will decide to lift the state of emergency in the near future,” she said. “Of course, that’s something we’ve been hoping for, and we believe it’ll happen soon.” Ethiopia’s war, which began in November 2020, has killed tens of thousands of people and forced millions to flee their homes.
It has been difficult to approach negotiations between Ethiopia’s government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which ruled the country’s authoritarian government before Abiy took office, in part because the government branded the TPLF a terrorist group after the war began. Weber expressed optimism that the TPLF and Oromia Liberation Army (OLA) will be delisted from the list of terrorist organizations.
Following that, she noted, discussion with the TPLF may be possible in order to find a way to a “cessation of hostilities and cease-fire.” Weber stated that there was “hope for peace,” but that more work was required.