The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces signed an agreement that sets out the road map for the implementation of a peace agreement that both sides reached in South Africa this month on Saturday.
Representatives of the Ethiopian government and the Tigray Popular Liberation Front (TPLF) have been meeting since Monday in Nairobi to reach an agreement on various aspects related to the implementation of the peace pact signed in Pretoria.
Saturday’s statement is expected to boost efforts by African Union mediators to try to resolve a two-year conflict that has killed thousands and displaced millions in the Horn of Africa country. It will facilitate unimpeded humanitarian access, provide security guarantees for aid workers, ensure the protection of civilians and establish a joint committee to oversee implementation, mediators say.
The agreement will enter into force “immediately”, mediator Olusegun Obasanjo said at a press conference before the signing. Both sides said they were committed to the declaration, stressing that it was the only way to restore peace and stability.
A senior Ethiopian military official, Birhanu Jula, says: “We will fully dedicate ourselves to implementing the Pretoria agreement and this declaration.”
Ethiopian military officials and the TPLF had reached an agreement on the disarmament of TPLF fighters and the entry of the Ethiopian army into the Tigrayan capital, Mekele, the federal government said in a statement issued after the signing.
We have been saying that the humanitarian situation in the north #Ethiopia it would improve when the TPLF rebels are defeated and disarmed. That is exactly what we are seeing on the ground now ? #DisArmTPLF pic.twitter.com/CvOpToJsNi
— Pulp faction (@DanielsonKassa1) November 8, 2022
One of the TPLF representatives, General Tadesse Werede, says that the declaration on the implementation had given them hope that the suffering of the people in Tigray would end. Asked if the deal included accountability for war crimes, Uhuru Kenyatta, another mediator and former Kenyan president, said: “When the guns are silenced and the dire humanitarian situation is addressed.”
“There will be severe penalties against anyone who commits atrocities against civilians.” he adds.
The two sides agreed to a permanent cessation of hostilities in an unexpected diplomatic breakthrough in South Africa on November 2.North Dakota.
One week after a ceasefire agreement, where is the humanitarian aid response for the 6 million people in the Tigray region of Ethiopia?
Food and medical assistance are now urgently needed.
Irish diplomats ?? cannot stand alone denouncing Ethiopia ?? for their actions. pic.twitter.com/nNYcQrEdUX
— Barry Andrews MEP (@BarryAndrewsMEP) November 10, 2022
Immediate humanitarian access will be a welcome relief in a region where hundreds of thousands are facing famine conditions.
On Friday, the Ethiopian government said international aid was “permitted and ready” to move to Tigray.
“I am glad that my family and now can live without fear and my children can go to school,” says Kidane, 1 of the 6,000 Eritrean refugees being relocated from Mai Aini in #tigray to Alemwach in #Amhara.
Kidane, who is visually impaired, was relocated with his family of 8.#IHS #DICAC pic.twitter.com/yuH90mt2kD
— UNHCR Ethiopia (@UNHCREthiopia) November 9, 2022
The agencies were preparing to send an aid convoy to Alamata in southern Tigray next week and were working through the final details while forgetting aid to other areas, according to a senior humanitarian official in Ethiopia.