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The Ethiopian government will not talk with leaders of the northern Tigray region to end the conflict there, an aide to PM Abiy Ahmed has told the BBC.

“We don’t negotiate with criminals… We bring them to justice, not to the negotiating table,” said Mamo Mihretu.

African leaders have urged the government to meet Tigrayan leaders.

The conflict has reportedly killed hundreds and displaced thousands in recent weeks. The UN has warned it could trigger a humanitarian crisis.

On Friday, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the African Union Chairperson, announced the appointment of three former presidents to lead talks to end the conflict.

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