Sudanese prime minister visits Ethiopia to discuss Tigray conflict

On Sunday, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok visited Ethiopia briefly to broker a ceasefire between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF). Ethiopia has rejected this offer, as well as others, such as from the African Union, saying that the conflict has ended and it is unnecessary.

When asked by Reuters about the offer from Sudan, Billene Seyoum, spokeswoman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, asked, “Mediate what?” She also stated, “The military altercation has ceased with the command of Mekelle [...] The provisional administration has [been] set up and a regional council formed in Tigray.”

While the Ethiopian government declared the end of the conflict on November 29, the TPLF has said they are still fighting from the mountains around Mekelle. Neither account can be verified because communications with Tigray have been down since the conflict began on November 4.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed later tweeted that the discussions were productive in “an understanding on various issues that will further augment cooperation between our two countries.” Sudan’s cabinet has said that negotiations surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) are to resume within the next week.

The dam has caused significant tension between Ethiopia and both Sudan and Egypt. Ethiopia claims that electricity from the dam will help create jobs but Egypt and Sudan worry that they will lose some, or all, access to the Nile’s water, which they heavily depend on.