ADDIS ABABA, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian federal government has disclosed the appointment of a seven-member negotiating team to "peacefully resolve" the conflict in the northern part of the country.
The newly appointed negotiating team will be led by the country's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen, the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reported late Monday.
Other members of the negotiating team included Gedion Timothewos, the Ethiopian minister of Justice and Redwan Hussien, the national security advisor to the Ethiopian Prime Minister with a rank of a minister, according to the FBC report.
Meanwhile, Gedion Timothewos, who is also a member of the Central Committee of Ethiopia's ruling Prosperity Party (PP), said that the executive and central committees of the ruling party in their meetings during the past days had deliberated upon the options of peaceful resolution of the conflict.
A committee, established by the Executive Committee of the ruling party, presented a study report of peaceful options to the Central Committee of the party, which then had extensive deliberation, the state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) quoted Timothewos as saying.
"Accordingly, a decision has been made to give peaceful options a chance," ENA quoted Timothewos as saying.
Timothewos said the decision has taken several issues into consideration, including the importance of peace to the country's development and ensuring the successful implementation of the inclusive national dialogue.
Noting that "enormous efforts" have been made by the federal government after the conflict erupted, the Ethiopian minister of justice said halting further human and material losses and prevention of additional "bloody conflict" as well as rehabilitating the victims were also issues considered by the ruling party.
Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous nation, has seen a devastating conflict as forces loyal to the rebel TPLF and the Ethiopian National Defense Force, backed by allied forces, engaged in a 19-month conflict since November 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. ■