ETHIOPIA PM ABIY AHMED RULES OUT DIALOGUE WITH TIGRAY FORCES DURING AU ENVOY'S VISIT
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has once again insisted that he would not dialogue with the Tigray People's Liberation Front, TPLF.
Abiy Ahmed reiterated his stance during a meeting with three African Union special envoys, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
Recall the Prime Minister on Thursday announced the final phase of a three week offensive on Tigray forces.
The African Union sent three representatives to seek diplomatic ways to resolve the three-week deadly conflict that has led to the death of hundreds of people with at least 30,000 Ethiopians fleeing to neighbouring Sudan.
The peace envoy includes Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano, and former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Abiy told the AU envoy that he is only willing to speak to representatives "operating legally" in the region.
The government on Thursday announced it would embark on the "final phase" of its planned offensive on Mekelle following the expiration of a 72-hour ultimatum given to Tigrayan forces to surrender peacefully.
According to Abiy, the government's failure to enforce the rule of law in Tigray would "nurture a culture of impunity with devastating cost to the survival of the country".