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Ethiopian government team headed to Tigray after peace deal

December 26, 2022

A delegation from Ethiopia's government is traveling to Tigray to oversee the implementation of last month's peace accord which seeks to end two years of fighting in the region.

Girls hold a banner in support of the recent peace deal agreed between the Ethiopian federal government and Tigray forces
The peace agreement signed in South Africa in November could end two years of fighting which has killed thousands and led to a humanitarian crisisImage: AP Photo/picture alliance

The Ethiopian government on Monday said a high-level delegation was traveling to the northern Tigray region for talks to implement a peace deal struck last month.

The government in Addis Ababa and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) had agreed to creat a joint monitoring system to ensure November's peace agreement was upheld and respected by all sides.

The November accord saw both parties sign an agreement seeking to end two years of fighting, which has killed thousands and displaced millions.

First high-level delegation in 2 years

The Government Communication Service said that this was the first delegation of its kind to visit Tigray in two years and would be led by House of Representatives Speaker Tagesse Chafo.

"This gesture is an attestation to the peace agreement getting on the right track and progressing," the government statement said.

The peace deal saw both sides pledge to protect civilians and facilitate the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid.

Military leadership had also reached agreement on the disarmament of TPLF fighters.

Since November 2020, the northern Ethiopian region has been the center of a conflict between the TPLF — which led the country's previous government — and the current administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The bloody conflict in Tigray

In November 2020, Abiy ordered a government offensive in Tigray, in response to an attack on a military base, amid accusations Tigrayan forces were trying to reclaim power, which they denied.

Ethiopia only later admitted to the involvement of Eritrean troops in the operations, which further complicated matters.

Violence in the region reignited in September after a months-long ceasefire. Both sides accused the other of breaking the truce.

In October, leaders from the two sides met for formal peace talks in South Africa, resulting in agreement on the roadmap towards lasting peace. 

kb/ar (Reuters, AFP)