Ethiopia’s government and the Tigrayan forces have been invited by the African Union (AU) to peace negotiations intended to put an end to the nation’s two-year civil war.

Going forward
According to diplomatic sources, the negotiations will take place this weekend in South Africa. The government of Ethiopia has accepted the offer, according to the prime minister’s national security adviser. The Tigrayan military has not yet commented.

Why this matter?
Tigrayan leaders had previously opposed an AU-led mediation, instead preferring outgoing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to head the negotiations.

Last month, the rebels stated that they were ready for a truce and would accept an African Union-led peace process, clearing the way for talks with the Addis Ababa government to end nearly two years of conflict.

The statement came after a frenzy of foreign diplomacy when combat erupted in northern Ethiopia for the first time in several months in August, breaking a humanitarian truce.

What’s been going on?
In August, new fighting broke out in the northern Tigray province, ending a five-month humanitarian ceasefire. The truce was reached to allow help to reach the Tigray region, where many have been killed. Both sides blame each other for restarting aggression.

Eritrea also joined the conflict on Ethiopia’s side. This move was condemned by Global bodies.

Digging deeper
UN humanitarian workers are safely fleeing Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray area after being detained for several weeks due to continuous fighting. As new fighting erupted last month, the UN suspended aid deliveries to the region.

Millions of individuals continue to require emergency assistance.

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