Both factions in northern Ethiopia’s two-year civil war have agreed to attend peace negotiations in South Africa this weekend. as a result of an invitation from the African Union After the Addis Ababa administration announced its involvement earlier on Wednesday, Tigrayan rebels acknowledged their participation later.

The Tigray rebels, however, have raised concerns about the invited participants, observers, and guarantors, as well as the participation of the international community.

“Given that we were not consulted prior to the issuance of this invitation, we require clarification on some of the following concerns in order to build an auspicious start for the peace negotiations,” stated Tigrayan leader Debretsion Gebremichael in a statement.

Explaining the statement
Tigrayan leaders have previously opposed an AU-led mediation, instead preferring outgoing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to head the negotiations.

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 important
Fighting erupted in Tigray state in August, breaching a five-month humanitarian ceasefire. The uprising has also prompted troops from neighboring Eritrea to support the Ethiopian government forces.

Former Nigerian and Kenyan presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Uhuru Kenyatta will serve as mediators.

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