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Ethiopian refugees flee Tigray into Sudan Ethiopian refugees flee Tigray into Sudan  (AFP or licensors)

US sends envoy to Ethiopia in a bid to end conflict

As the fighting continues in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, US President Joe Biden is sending his Horn of Africa special envoy to the country to discuss ways to promote peace.

By Vatican News staff reporter

After nine months of war and now increasing alarm over the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, US President Joe Biden is sending envoy Jeffrey Feltman to the Horn of Africa nation.

The news was announced by White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who tweeted, "Months of war have brought immense suffering and division to a great nation that won’t be healed through more fighting."

He also urged Ethiopia's government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) to come to the negotiating table.

In a statement, the US State Department said the special envoy will be travelling, from Sunday, to Ethiopia, Djibouti, and the United Arab Emirates, where he will meet with officials to discuss ways to promote peace and stability in the region.

Humanitarian crisis

The ongoing conflict has created a humanitarian crisis, with the UN warning in July that more than 100,000 children in Tigray could suffer life-threatening malnutrition in the next year.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s federal troops have been battling forces from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which control Tigray, since last November.

Thousands of people have been killed and many displaced as a result of the conflict.

This week, the Tigray People's Liberation Front said they were in talks to forge a military alliance with insurgents from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), who come from Ethiopia’s most populous region, Oromiya.

The government has designated both the TPLF and the OLA as terrorist organisations.

After succeeding in retaking the majority of Tigray in early July, Tigrayan forces have made their way into the neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions.

Last week, they also captured the United Nations World Heritage site of Lalibela.

13 August 2021, 13:59