The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has expressed optimism over the peace efforts led by Nigeria's former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the African Union High Representative, towards bringing an end to the Ethiopian-Tigray crisis.
The crisis, which escalated between the central government and the Tigray forces in November 2020 over power struggle, has defied several truce attempts by the international mediators and has since destabilised the East African country, famous as the Horn of Africa.
The statement quoted Guterres saying that he had a telephone conversation with the former Nigerian President, "to exchange views with him on the conflict in Ethiopia following his (Obasanjo's) latest visit to Addis Ababa and Mekelle, the capital of the regional state of Tigray."
"H.E Mr Obasanjo briefed me about the efforts being made by the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) to move towards a resolution of the violent conflict and expressed optimism that there is now a real opportunity for a political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict," Guterres said.
"I am delighted that after over a year of armed conflict which has affected millions of people across Ethiopia and the rest of the region, there is now a demonstrable effort to make peace."
While reiterating his call for parties to cease hostilities and embrace peacemaking efforts, the UN helmsman decried that "ongoing military operations in some parts of Ethiopia remain a challenge to the peace process and sour the confidence-building measures that we hope are being taken by all parties in the conflict."
He said the United Nations is ready to support an all-inclusive and nationally owned dialogue, peace, security, and reconciliation process in Ethiopia.
He urged the international community to continue emphasising the need for all parties to demonstrate sincerity and commitment to the peace process.
Guterres also expressed concerns over the humanitarian situation in all affected regions of the country and called on "all actors in the conflict to support and facilitate local and international efforts to provide humanitarian aid to those in need."