Conflicts & War

Ethiopia’s Tigray rebels say handed over heavy weapons as per peace pact

Addis Ababa, Jan 11 (EFE).- Rebels in Ethiopia’s Tigray have handed over their heavy weapons to the national army as per the peace pact with the federal government that ended a two-year war in the northern region of the Horn of Africa nation.

“Tigray has handed over its heavy weapons as part of its commitment to implementing the Pretoria agreement, and the monitoring & verification team (from the African Union) has confirmed it,” Tigray forces spokesperson Getachew Reda tweeted early Wednesday.

“We hope & expect this will go a long way in expediting the full implementation of the agreement.”

Getachew Reda referred to the peace agreement the Ethiopian federal government and leaders of the rebellious province signed in November last year to end two years of war that have left tens of thousands dead and forced some 2 million people from their homes.

Ethiopian Deputy Foreign Minister Redwan Hussien and Getachew Reda, representing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), signed the agreement in Pretoria.

Since then, Tigray has seen the restoration of some services like commercial flights, electricity, and banking operations.

The government promised unhindered access to humanitarian supplies and protection of civilians, especially women, children, and other vulnerable groups.

The United Nations had condemned the government over a “de facto humanitarian blockade” of Tigray since the war began.

The fighting began in November 2020, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a full-scale offensive on the PFLT in response to an attack on a military base and after an escalation of political tensions.

It culminated in months of tensions between the federal and regional governments.

TPLF troops retreated to secure redoubts in the face of the rapid advance of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), only to re-emerge later and renew the conflict.

In March, the warring parties proclaimed an “indefinite humanitarian truce,” but fighting continued and even intensified in the last two months.


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