Uganda: Tigray Crisis – Museveni Meets Ethiopian Delegation in Gulu

An Ethiopian delegation led by the deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen has met Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni as they seek to end the Tigray crisis.

"Our discussion focused on the peace and security issues affecting Ethiopia currently. Being one of the oldest countries that was not colonised in Africa, Ethiopia is the pride of the continent. Africa's problem is that we never discuss ideology, focusing so much on diplomacy. I totally disagree with politics that focus on ethnic federalism. We must emphasise the issue of oneness and common interests because it is the only way we can prosper," Mr Museveni posted on his social media platforms.

The meeting comes after reports that Nigeria's ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday jetted to Ethiopia to mediate in the conflict between the government and the northern Tigray region.

"He is on his way to Addis Ababa for talks," Kehinde Akinyemi said on the visit of the former Nigerian leader to the Ethiopian capital.

"He is going there for mediation," Akinyemi said, without giving further details.

Both the Ethiopian government and the African Union said they had no information on any visit by Obasanjo, who has previously acted as a United Nations peace envoy in DR Congo.

Ethiopia's central government announced a military operation in the northern Tigray region on November 4 in a dramatic escalation of a long-running feud with the region's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

The fighting - which has sent thousands fleeing over the border into Sudan - has sparked fears of civil war and concerns it could spread across the region after rockets were fired at an airport in neighbouring Eritrea.

The attack on Saturday was claimed by TPLF which has accused Eritrea of backing the government.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office had earlier on Monday dismissed claims from Ugandan officials that President Museveni would meet with representatives of both sides in an effort to facilitate talks.

Ugandan officials said over the weekend those meetings would begin Monday in Uganda and would involve Demeke Mekonnen, Ethiopia's deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

"The claims by various news outlets that Ethiopian officials are expected to take part in mediation talks with TPLF in Uganda are inaccurate and not substantiated," a government statement had said.

Abiy has previously said any talks can't begin until the TPLF is fully disarmed, resisting calls from world leaders for an immediate end to hostilities.

Source: The Monitor

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