"The Envoys will travel to Ethiopia with a view to helping to mediate between the parties to conflict in the sister Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia", office of the AU Chair said.
Ethiopia's government said on Saturday its troops had seized another town, Adigrat, in its push towards the capital of Tigray province where it is seeking to topple rebel forces. On November 4, security forces loyal to the TPLF attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in Mekelle, killing several people.
Assertions on all sides are hard to verify because phone lines and internet have been down since the beginning of the conflict on November 4 and media are largely barred.
This comes as the African Union on Friday night named former Presidents Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa as special envoys to help restore normalcy in the country.
"News circulating that the [African Union] envoys will be travelling to Ethiopia to mediate between the Federal Government and TPLF's criminal element is fake", Ethiopia's government tweeted on Saturday.
An overview of destroyed buildings near Dansha airport in Dansha, Ethiopia, is seen in this satellite image taken November 18, 2020 and supplied by Maxar Technologies.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement late Friday, welcoming the appointments and commended Ramaphosa "for this initiative" and extended the U.N.'s full support "for ensuring a peaceful, stable and prosperous Ethiopia".
The mounting disputes between the federal government and the TPLF were exacerbated in September this year, when the Tigray regional government made a decision to go ahead with its planned regional elections, which the Ethiopian parliament had previously postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
"Until now, there has not been acceptance by the Ethiopian authorities of any form of external mediation", he said. The Ethiopian government has also accused Tigray forces of firing rockets at the direction of Bahir Dar and Gondar in Ethiopia's Amhara state. Its new head hinted this week at potential forgiveness for TPLF rank-and-file, while the party itself is now outlawed.
Abiy, who won last year's Nobel Peace Prize for a peace deal with neighboring Eritrea, has said he wants to remove the TPLF leaders before negotiations. Therefore Fusion Media doesn't bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.