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AU welcomes Tigray call for Ethiopia peace talks

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The African Union has welcomed an announcement by Tigrayan rebels in northern Ethiopia that they are willing to take part in peace negotiations.

The head of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said it was a unique opportunity to end the conflict and urged the rebels and the government in Addis Ababa to implement an immediate ceasefire.

Fighting resumed in August after several months of calm, but on Sunday the Tigrayan leadership said it was ready to participate in a peace process under the auspices of the African Union.

Tigrayan leaders have previously been critical of an AU-led mediation, instead favouring outgoing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to lead the talks.

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There has been no direct reaction from the Ethiopian government but it has previously said it would talk anytime, anywhere.

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