Ethiopian government and Tigrayan rebels agree truce

The Ethiopian government and the rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) formally agreed on Wednesday in Pretoria to a cessation of hostilities, as well as a systematic, orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament, the mediator said. African Union Special Secretary, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Speaking at a press conference following talks between the warring parties, Olusegun Obasanjo, AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, said the Ethiopian government and the Tigrayan rebels have agreed of a truce.

The two sides also underlined in a joint statement read at the end of the press conference that a peace agreement was reached after days of intense negotiations.

Speaking on the same occasion, the head of the Tigray rebel delegation, Getachew Reda, welcomed the agreement and said that the Tigrayans are ready to implement it.

The week-long talks marked the first formal dialogue to end a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and sparked a humanitarian crisis.

For the Ethiopian government, these negotiations, which are being held under the aegis of the African Union (AU), are an “opportunity to peacefully resolve the conflict and consolidate the improvement of the situation on the ground”.

The Tigrayan Rebels and the Ethiopian Federal Army have been clashing since November 2020 in a deadly conflict that has plunged northern Ethiopia into a deep humanitarian crisis. After a five-month truce, fighting resumed on August 24. Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have recently seized Shire, one of the main towns in Tigray.

The international community has expressed alarm at the recent escalation of fighting. The UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council have both held meetings on the subject.

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