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Mike Hammer, the US special envoy to the Horn of Africa, is scheduled to arrive in Addis Ababa in the coming days to meet with officials from the federal government, African Union, and Tigray Interim Administration as tensions run high over the implementation of the Pretoria agreement.

A press release from the US Department of State says “the urgency of resolving outstanding issues through political dialogue and avoiding a return to conflict” has prompted the visit from Hammer.

Territorial disputes in northern Ethiopia have given rise to a fresh round of fighting in recent weeks, raising concerns that the region could find itself back in a state of war.

The federal government and the Tigray administration announced last week they had reached an agreement to finalize the implementation of the Pretoria peace deal before the end of June.

The outstanding tasks include the full disarmament of ex-combatants, the return of nearly one million IDPs to their homes, and the reinstitution of Tigray’s pre-war borders. The latter has been a source of alarming friction in recent weeks.

Hammer is also set to discuss options for dialogue to end armed conflict in the Amhara and Oromia regions, as well as the need to investigate human rights violations in the country, according to the press release. Visits to Kenya and Djibouti are also on the special envoy’s itinerary.

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