ADDIS ABABA – The European Union (EU) and U.S. Special Envoys for the Horn of Africa, Annette Weber and Mike Hammer, traveled on their first joint mission to Mekelle, Tigray.
The visit was intended to encourage the launch of talks between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) under the African Union’s auspices, said the envoys in a joint statement issued on Tuesday.
The pair said “political dialogue is necessary to resolve the conflict in northern Ethiopia and achieve durable peace,” welcoming the public commitment by both parties to engage in talks and expressing their readiness to support African-led mediation.
The envoys said a swift restoration of electricity, telecom, banking, and other basic services in Tigray is essential for the people of Tigray, as recognized in earlier discussions with the Ethiopian Government”.
In Mekelle, the envoys received a letter from the officials in the Tigray region, which they said was to be passed to the federal Government of Ethiopia “providing security guarantees for those who need to work to restore services”.
“With this security assurance, there should be no obstacle for the restoration of services to begin,” the envoys said.
Equally, unfettered humanitarian access to Tigray and the Afar and Amhara neighboring regions affected by the conflict is imperative, they said.
“Improved civilian-military coordination will help ensure effective and transparent aid distribution,” they added.
The Envoys also urged cooperation with, and access to the conflict areas for, the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) to “enable them to conduct a credible investigation.”
Featured Image Caption: U.S. Special Envoys for the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer. [Photo File]
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