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Tigray rebels in northern Ethiopia agree to peace talks

Ethiopia's Tigray rebels have agreed to peace talks with the central government in Addis Ababa on the weekend, according to a statement from the de facto president of the Tigray region, Debretsion Gebremichael.

Addis Ababa, 6 October 2022 (dpa/MIA) – Ethiopia’s Tigray rebels have agreed to peace talks with the central government in Addis Ababa on the weekend, according to a statement from the de facto president of the Tigray region, Debretsion Gebremichael.

The Addis Ababa government had previously stated its willingness to participate in the talks under the auspices of the African Union (AU), which are due to start in South Africa on Saturday.

The late Wednesday statement from the rebels could increase the chance of progress in stopping the recent violence.

Since August, there has been serious conflict between the Ethiopian army and rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The conflict irst erupted in November 2020. The TPLF is demanding greater autonomy for its ethnic group, which is based in the north-west of the North African country.

Human rights organizations have reported serious war crimes and ethnic cleansing on both sides, and the World Health Organization (WHO) puts the number of people needing humanitarian assistance at around 5.2 million in a population of more than 7 million.

The Tigray rebels indicated their willingness to hold peace talks in mid-September, but serious fighting has occurred in the region since then.

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