The United States welcomes the start of African Union (AU)-led peace negotiations between the government of Ethiopia and Tigrayan regional authorities in South Africa today.  We urge the delegations to engage seriously in these talks to reach a lasting resolution to this conflict.  As a first priority, it is essential to achieve an immediate cessation of hostilities.  We also call on the delegations to agree on unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need, measures to protect civilians, and Eritrea’s withdrawal from northern Ethiopia.

We commend South Africa for hosting the talks and support AU High Representative Obasanjo, former South African Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka, and former Kenyan President Kenyatta as mediators.  I have spoken with Kenyan President Ruto, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Pandor, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy to convey the urgency of ending this conflict now.  I will continue to consult with the AU on forging a political resolution to this destabilizing conflict.

There is no military solution to this conflict, and these talks represent the most promising way to achieve lasting peace and prosperity for all Ethiopians.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future