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Tigray crisis: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed rejects peace talks

BY: BBC
Mr Abiy said he would not enter dialogue with Tigray leaders until the rule of law is restore
Mr Abiy said he would not enter dialogue with Tigray leaders until the rule of law is restore

The Ethiopian prime minister, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, has rejected a request for peace talks as the conflict in Tigray deepens.

The Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael wrote to the African Union (AU) last week to request talks.

But PM Abiy Ahmed said in a tweet that there would be no dialogue "until our efforts to ascertain the rule of law are achieved".

Hundreds have died since the conflict erupted last week.

Last Wednesday, Mr Abiy ordered a military offensive after an army base in Mekelle was taken over by forces loyal to the regional government of Tigray.

On Friday Mr Debretsion wrote to the AU asking for help. The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Monday urged the federal government and the Tigray state authorities to engage in dialogue.

But on Tuesday Mr Ahmed said in a series of tweets that he wanted "to assure Ethiopians again" that there will be no dialogue until after rule of law is achieved.

He added: "Our law enforcement operations in Tigray are proceeding as planned: operations will cease as soon as the criminal junta is disarmed, legitimate administration in the region restored, and fugitives apprehended & brought to justice - all of them rapidly coming within reach."