We welcome the momentous step taken in Pretoria today to advance the African Union’s campaign to “silence the guns” with the signing of a cessation of hostilities between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. We commend the parties for taking this initial step to agree to end the fighting and continue dialogue to resolve outstanding issues to consolidate peace and bring an end to almost two years of conflict. We welcome the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians that should result from implementation of this agreement.
The United States commends AU Commission Chairman Faki for his leadership as well as the extraordinary efforts of AU High Representative Obasanjo, former South African Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka, and former Kenyan President Kenyatta, whose facilitation led to this significant step toward peace. We also commend South Africa for generously hosting the talks.
The United States remains a committed partner to this AU-led process and to our collaboration with the UN, IGAD, and other regional and international partners to support implementation of today’s agreement. We welcome the statement of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy expressing gratitude to the AU and share our support for his desire for an enhanced partnership to support reconstruction and development for all communities in northern Ethiopia affected by the conflict.