Last week, Debretsion told the BBC that his group and the government of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed have been in talks for the last few days in an attempt to set terms of how a ceasefire negotiation could be conducted, but then said certain conditions from the TPLF need to be availed before any talk could begin.

ADDIS ABABA – An Ethiopian senior government official has confirmed that his government is in an informal talk with the rebellious Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led by Debretsion Gebremichael, a positive gesture for formal ceasefire between the two adversaries.
Last week, Debretsion told the BBC that his group and the government of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed have been in talks for the last few days in an attempt to set terms of how a ceasefire negotiation could be conducted, but then said certain conditions from the TPLF need to be availed before any talk could begin.

In the interview, Debretsion revealed that they have been in informal talks with the Ethiopian federal government and said that there has emerged an improvement in the way they exchange messages, but gave preconditions before formal talks for a ceasefire begin.

“The federal forces and our forces must stop fighting to give peace a chance, not only that but those necessary supplies must arrive. Unfortunately, we have a government that kills its own people, so we must stop [fighting],” he said.

“We must go to negotiate ceasefire, a formal ceasefire, foreign forces must be withdrawn, the Eritrean forces are still in Tigray, they must withdraw, the Amhara militias are in Tigray, they have to withdraw and any other foreign intervention must stop then we continue for a national dialogue,” he added.

But speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon in Addis Ababa, a senior government official said some of the secret preconditions for the TPLF to enter talks with the government was that the army chief is removed, which the official called an unrealistic demand.’

“They want the army chief to be removed as a precondition for holding talk with the federal government. To me, this demand is not a friendly demand and is unrealistic, you can say that you are for peace and you give such demands which will never be implemented by the other side,” the official who requested to be named, said.

The official further reiterated Ethiopian government’s commitment to achieving peace in all parts of the country saying there are ready for talk with the TPLF, but which he said should not be conditioned, something he said may stain the developing relations between the belligerents.

“The government is read and our people are all ready to talk to the TPLF, but this gesture from the federal government of Ethiopia should not be used to implement certain agenda by this group and we are not ready to implement their terms. We will not seek for a common ground and a win-win solution to the conflict,” he said.

When asked if the government in Addis Ababa is ready to expel foreign forces that are fighting alongside the Ethiopian army as demanded by the TPLF, the official reacted angrily saying “there are not foreign forces in Ethiopia and this is a propaganda coming from the TPLF and unfortunate you have succumbed to this propaganda.”

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