The Ethiopian prime minister says the recent withdrawal of troops and officials from the northern Tigray region should not be viewed as a sign that the government side lost the war.
Abiy Ahmed said the eight-month conflict against Tigrayan rebels had weakened them.
He said the national army still had the capacity to fight but stressed the need for there to be peace in order for Ethiopia to develop.
In an address to parliament he did not respond to the rebel TPLF’s list of preconditions for there to be a bilateral ceasefire.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians in Tigray are experiencing famine-like conditions as a result of the conflict and aid agencies are appealing for unhindered access.