Turkey calls for peaceful settlement of Tigray conflict

Erdogan and Abiy oversaw the signing of military agreement during their meeting [Photo: Turkish presidency]

ANKARA, Turkey - The government of Turkey has called for peaceful settlement of the Tigray conflict, which is now spilling over to other regions across Ethiopia, a big setback for ongoing efforts to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.

For the last nine months, Tigray Defense Forces [TDF] and the Ethiopia National Defense Forces [ENDF], have been battling over the control of the Tigray region, leading to a humanitarian crisis that has left over 400,000 people without access to essential services.

In fact, telecommunications and road networks to Tigray have been badly impaired, leading to the crisis. The TDF accuses ENDF of committing atrocities in Tigray, with the federal government accusing the TDF of committing similar crimes.

And on Wednesday, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a closed-door meeting with Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, where he expressed concerns about the conflict in Tigray, which has also left thousands displaced from their homes.

In Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he backs peaceful resolution to the Tigray conflict, noting that both parties should come together, agree on ways of cooperation. The statement comes weeks after Abiy Ahmed told residents to help in attacking TDF.

Thousands of people have been killed in Tigray with reports of gang rapes and mass expulsions of Tigrayans by Ethiopian and allied forces. Millions of others have been left hungry, as ENDF, Amhara regional troops, and Eritrean soldiers descended on Tigrayans.

Erdoğan and Abiy oversaw the signing of military agreements, including a military financial cooperation deal amid a simmering conflict in Tigray. It's not clear if the government of Turkey is keen to send military assistance to Ethiopia.

Also, Ethiopia seeks better ties with Turkey and support against the Arabs backing Egypt and Sudan in the dispute over the Nile dam. Addis Ababa has been building Nile Dam for the last couple of years, provoking Khartoum and Cairo in the process.

"Thank you to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for warmly receiving my delegation and me to Turkey today. The agreements we have signed are a strengthening of our relations. I appreciate Turkey’s support in Ethiopia’s continued development and stability," Ahmed said after the trip.

The United Nations and other world superpowers have been also calling for peaceful settlement of the Ethiopian conflict. The TDF is determined to close into Amhara and Afar territories, something which has further irked Addis Ababa authorities.


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