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TPLF’s Raya front collapsed as joint forces of Ethiopia break through entrenched positions held by the rebels. TPLF fighters who had been occupying the Kobo region retreated farther north, in what the group’s spokesman dubbed “a redeployment”. The Ethiopian ministry of defense stated their actions continue to be defensive in nature. In the northern front, near the towns of Shiraro and Adi De’aro, Ethiopian forces re-took their former northern command military base from rebel forces. Tigray’s rebel command issued several press statements condemning airstrikes in the region.
United States’ Senator Jim Inhofe led a delegation of republican Senators on his trip to Ethiopia and met with speaker of the Ethiopian parliament as well as with Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. Jim Inhofe, United States senator from Oklahoma is viewed by many Ethiopians in the United States as a champion of Ethiopia and one that understands the true nature of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The topic of the meetings were around improving relations between the United States and Ethiopia.
Ethiopians concluded the festive month of September. The month marked celebrations, which included the Holy Cross (Meskel), as well as the Irreecha Thanksgiving festivals. Despite ongoing conflict, the joyful holidays season was an opportunity for communities to come together in hopes of a better and a peaceful future. Large public gathering in Addis Ababa as well other cities concluded peacefully.
African Union invitation for peace talks in South Africa were initially received well by the GoE as well as the TPLF rebels. However, in a letter sent to the AU, the TPLF remained ambiguous about its decision to engage in peace talks, citing logistical and security concerns around its delegation’s travel to South Africa. Later in the week, former Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta announced his withdrawal from his observer position at the peace talks slated to happen Pretoria. Many observers cite TPLF rebel leaders’ unhappiness about negotiating without a ceasefire agreement first. The rebels desperately want a ceasefire before sitting for talks.
President William Ruto of Kenya arrived in Addis Ababa for an official state visit, coinciding with the launch of Safaricom, which makes it the first non-government owned telecom company to operate in Ethiopia. The Kenya based Safaricom had invested close to a billion dollars to operate in Ethiopia. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the president toured the newly inaugurated Science and Arts museum in Addis Ababa. President Ruto praised Ethiopian efforts towards economic development despite ongoing conflict in the north of the country. Furthermore, an agreement was reached by Kenya to purchase from Ethiopia’s upcoming wheat harvest. Details of the deal were not shared publicly.
The UN human rights council voted for the continuation of its investigation in Ethiopia. The main proponents of this move were EU countries led by Finland and the United Kingdom. All African members states of the council voted against the extension of the council’s mandate to investigate human rights abuses committed in Ethiopia. The investigations have recently become a subject of controversy for subpar methodology and bias.