An official familiar with the talks being organized by the Kenyan government says they are expected to last until Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak in public.
A communication channel has already been set up between the two sides to deal with any incidents “as both recognize the challenge of fully communicating with all their units to stop fighting,” the official said.
Under African Union envoy and former Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo, former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nigerian, South African and Kenyan military officers are those facilitating and attending the talks. The United States and the regional Intergovernmental Authority for Development are observers.
Over the weekend, the Ethiopian government’s chief negotiator, Redwan Hussein, told diplomats that “we have suffered tremendous damage” and that the finance minister has estimated the country will need nearly $20 billion to rebuild. “We will quickly fix both telecom and electricity” to the Tigray region, he said.
On humanitarian aid to a region where health professionals and the United Nations and partners have reported running out of even basic medical supplies, Redwan said that “the only problem we have is…it’s still risky to allow flights until commanders meet.” to assess the situation. situation.” If the military commanders agree on a timeline, the government believes that once the government fully controls airspace and airports in Tigray, “the entire Tigray region will be accessible for assistance” by road and by air transport. air, he said.
Neighboring Eritrea, whose troops have fought alongside Ethiopian forces, is not a party to the peace talks, and the country is not directly named in last week’s agreement. Redwan noted in his briefing that Ethiopia’s borders and airspace had been violated during the conflict, “so we are busy fighting each other, we are undermining each other. That paved the way for a third party to further undermine us.”
He did not mention Eritrea, but added that “we may also have a third party that may not be interested in this peace process.”