Last updated on January 2nd, 2023 at 09:14 pm
Eritrean forces, a key part of the conflict, have started to pack up and leave the battlefield. This gives the Tigray area of Ethiopia, which has been in conflict for the past two years, reason to hope for lasting peace. This week, Eritrea came to the conclusion that it needed to withdraw from Tigray after a group of Ethiopian government officials visited Makelle, the capital of the region, for the first time since the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. Makelle was the first stop on the delegation’s tour (CoHA).
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), referred to as “combatants” on the pact, and the Ethiopian government both signed the Ceasefire and Humanitarian Agreement (CoHA). Eritrea, however, which had fought on the side of the Ethiopian government during the conflict, did not sign the agreement, which was one of the points of dispute on how to disarm the TPLF.
Troops had been seen crossing back into Eritrea through Sheraro, one of the towns the Eritreans frequently shelled when the conflict was at its height. Although Eritrea’s withdrawal was not made official, it was reported that the troops were seen doing so.
However, this action will not result in the transfer of heavy weaponry from the TPLF to the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, which is a requirement of the CoHA. At a meeting between Ethiopian officials and TPLF leaders, the discussions on how that will be performed were solidified, and a consensus was reached.
Since the previous week, parties have been working out the details of disarming arrangements, and essential services have since resumed. After a communication blackout that lasted for almost a year, a phone call was finally made on Wednesday, according to Frehiwot Tamiru, the CEO of the state-owned company Ethio Telecom.
On Monday, a high-level Ethiopian government team led by Parliament Speaker Tagesse Chaffo arrived in Mekelle. TPLF leaders described the visit as a milestone in the peace accord to end the two-year war in the nation located in the Horn of Africa. After landing in Mekelle, the government delegation, consisting of more than 50 representatives, discussed a variety of pressing concerns with Tigrayan authorities. Humanitarian aid, basic services, business, and getting Eritrean and Amhara military personnel out of the area were some of these issues.
Officials from the TPLF have said that the government of Eritrea is trying to slow down the peace process. They have also asked the government of Abiy to follow the terms of the peace treaty, which include getting foreign and non-federal soldiers out of the country.
Getachew Reda, an advisor to the President of Tigray and the person who signed the peace agreement with the Ethiopian government in November on behalf of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), said that “fruitful negotiations were held and a basic understanding was reached.”
The gesture that the government has made to restore services that have been long overdue for restoration is praiseworthy. Getachew stated that the fact that none of the government delegation members made the effort to send close security guards was evidence of their faith in Tigray’s adherence to the peace agreement. According to him, Tigray has shown its guests a high level of respect and responsibility in both the way it has greeted them and how it has treated them. Along with diplomats, the group also had business leaders from companies like Ethiopian Airlines, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, and Ethio Telecom.
Article 11 of the CoHA establishes the AU-MVCM, which is composed of representatives from the Ethiopian government, the TPLF, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. The African Union, acting through the High-Level Panel, serves as the committee’s chairperson.
In a statement from the African Union, it says, “The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, commends the Parties and the AU High-Level Panel for this important step in the implementation of the CoHA and encourages them to keep working to bring peace, security, and stability back to Ethiopia.“