ADDIS ABABA, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has welcomed key confidence-building measures towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ethiopia.
The statement came after Mahamat received the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, who briefed the AUC chief on ongoing engagements relating to the execution of his mandate in the Horn of Africa, according to an AU statement issued late Thursday.
The AUC chief, in particular, acknowledged the commitment of the parties involved in the conflict in Ethiopian, to a peaceful resolution of the conflict through significant confidence-building measures undertaken including the lifting of the national state of emergency, release of detainees and prisoners of war, setup of the National Dialogue Commission, humanitarian truce and declaration of ceasefire, and the withdrawal of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) from the Afar region.
The chairperson further acknowledged improvements in humanitarian access and support to the affected regions, following the humanitarian truce and ceasefire.
The Chairperson noted that the key confidence-building measures resulted from intensive engagements, through shuttle diplomacy, by the AU High Representative, culminating in an overall lull in hostilities and reduction in violence.
He further emphasized that the current situation "should be consolidated."
Mahamat commended the Ethiopian federal government and the TPLF for the steps taken towards peaceful resolution of the conflict and encouraged them to continue on the path of political dialogue.
He further lauded the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Obasanjo, "for his tireless efforts towards a negotiated solution, while expressing solidarity with the people of Ethiopia in their quest for durable peace and reconciliation."
Mahamat called on the international community to continue supporting the people of Ethiopia and the ongoing AU-led peace process.
Ethiopia, Africa's second-populous nation and the seat of the AU headquarters, has seen a devastating conflict as forces loyal to the rebel TPLF and the Ethiopian National Defense Force, backed by allied forces, engaged in an 18-month conflict since Nov. 2020. The conflict has left millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Humanitarian aid is recently heading to the Tigray region after the Ethiopian government and the rebel forces agreed to a conditional cessation of hostilities and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid into the region.
The Ethiopian parliament designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization in May 2021. ■