There appears to be a consensus that talks can end the Tigray war. Everyone seems keen to say so.
On Thursday (yesterday) the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, told the Security Council that: “All parties must recognize a simple truth: there is no military solution.”
Many appear keen to help find a negotiated end to the conflict.
- The Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok offered to mediate between the warring parties. The Ethiopian government turned down his offer, saying that the Sudanese position had been “eroded,” and accusing the Sudanese army of launching an “incursion” into Ethiopian territory for re-capturing the al-Fashaga triangle.
- When Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy went to Turkey earlier this month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also offered to help mediate an end to the fighting in Tigray, vowing to protect Ethiopia’s “integrity.” It is an offere that is unlikely to win favour with the Tigrayans, since at the same time Erdogan apparently agreed to supply drones to the Ethiopian military to help them win the war.
- On the eve of the Security Council debate Tigrayan leader, Debretsion Gebremichael, wrote to Mr Guterres with a commitment to a “negotiated end” to the war. Yet at the same time he rejected the African Union’s preferred mediator, former Nigerian President Olusegun. Mr Debretsion also warned that the African Union “cannot provide any solution to the war” since the continental body had “endorsed” the Ethiopian attack on Tigray early in the fighting.
Are Ethiopia’s wars ended through mediation?
While everyone says they want to end the fighting by holding talks, the history of Ethiopia’s wars is not encouraging.
- The war of liberation in Eritrea began in the 1960’s. Tigray’s fight for its freedom began in the 1970’s. Both ended in 1991 when Eritrean troops captured Asmara and Tigrayan troops, supported by Oromo and Eritrean forces, captured Addis Ababa. Many had tried to end the wars earlier through talks (including the East Germans) but to no avail.
- The invasion of Ethiopia by Somalia in 1977 ended in their defeat the following year, after Castro and the Soviet Union airlifted arms and troops into Ethiopia.
- The Eritrean-Ethiopian border war of 1998-2000, that cost over 100,000 lives, ended when Eritrean lines broke and the Ethiopian army was on the way to capturing Asmara.
The conclusion one has to reach is that the historic precedents are not good.
I wish negotiators and mediators every success, but the chances of peace talks behind the scenes appear to be very poor.
Both Prime Minister Abiy and Eritrea’s President Isaias know that their futures depend on an outright victory.
The Tigrayans, meanwhile, have their backs to the wall. Even if their enemies were able to re-capture Mekelle, the TDF is likely to retreat into the hills and mountains once more to reform and attack again.
So, Mr Guterres, the evidence suggests sadly that you are wrong. Far from there being “no military solution” there appears to be “only a military solution” to this war.
Martin, much as further bloodshed is going bo have devastating impact to many, I agree with your conclusion. There seems to be no room for negotiated settlement. That said, you like distorting history to please your own ego. Former Ethiopian Generald and Ermias Leggese (Ethio-Forum 360) had clearly presented the truth on how and why the Eritrean-Ethiopian border war of 1998-2000 ended. It is impossible for the TPLF led regime to resist the opportunity of capturing Asmara and toppling the Government. In fact, the correct analysis is that, the Ethiopian army had lost its best fighters, incurred heavy casuality and lost most of its heavy weaponery while the Eritrean army was almost intact. Hence, the US military advisors pressed their ally to qulckly sign the Alglers agreement. The TPLF was reluctant to sign the Algiers agreement without capturing at least Assab and the battle to control Assab was the the last straw on the cammels back. You can interview G Tsadkan now
Ethiopia is very sick now and needs medicine that can cure from this devastating illness. Civilians are dying in their home especially cildren and women with no political ideology. Women are raped during the conflict.
Please use your experience in the horn of Africa to brought fairness, justice, dialogue and ideas that can work for most Ethiopian rather than posting/sharing war escalating and intensifying words & pictures. At the end, both people will continue to live together but you will be alone or ashamed of it. Most Tigraway have got married and form families to other Eth. ethnic groups. So, please be part of the solution, please push both parties to bring peace in Ethiopia without the cost of life, please use famous Ethiopian and well known but trusted international people to mediate the negotiations though it isn’t easy as posting. Please change your current track. Ethiopian difference is only political ideology, noting others.
Amhara elitesare supported by modern day colonialists, Russia, UAE and Turkey and massacring Tegaru , Oromos, Kimant, Agew, Shinasha , Gumuz including their own people, Amhara .Recently been reported that ENDF has killed many amhara people and destroyed their public and private buildings . As usual, Prosperity party accuse TDF for the warcrime that ENDF had committed.
These countries(Russia, UAE and Turkey) are passing deadly weapons purposely to massacre innocent civilians who are in the verge of death from famine, man made catastrophic at the expesne of prolonging the days of genocidal regime of Amhara dominated political party and its steering wheel, Abiy Ahmed.
These countries shoud be subjected to warcrime investigation and held accountable for all the crime against humanity. Crime is now committed by the people who held highest political power who are supposed to bring perpetrators to criminal courts and advocate for peace and security of humanity regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion etc