Ethiopian Deputy PM, US envoy discuss situation in northern Ethiopia

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Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen met with US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman to discuss current situation concerning the expanding conflict in northern Ethiopia…reports Asian Lite News

Mekonnen, who is also Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, said that forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have “continued committing atrocities in the Afar and Amhara regions, creating massive humanitarian and economic damages,” according to the Ethiopian Government Communications Service.

The Deputy Prime Minister called on the US to force the TPLF to withdraw its forces from the two regions, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mekonnen said humanitarian flights will be allowed in Lalibela and Kombolcha, rebel held areas in the Amhara region.

He also announced the permission for 369 humanitarian aid trucks to enter the Tigray region.

The conflict that erupted a year ago on November 4 in Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray region between forces loyal to the TPLF and the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF), has over the past months spread across neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions.

The two officials further discussed the conditions of US nationals across the East African country, according to the Ethiopian Government Communications Service.

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Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson’s High Representative for the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, is in Ethiopia as part of the 55-member pan African bloc’s efforts to bring peaceful resolution to the conflict.