Ethiopia announces ceasefire in Tigray after eight months of conflict
The Ethiopian government announced on Monday that after nearly eight months of deadly conflict, the Tigray region immediately unilaterally ceased fire. The Tigray army occupied the capital of the region. Soldiers retreated. Hundreds of thousands of people continue to face the worst in the world in a decade. Famine crisis.
A ceasefire can quell a war that destabilizes Africa’s second most populous country and threatens to do the same in the wider Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is seen as an important security ally of the West. As the country waited for the results of the national elections, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made it the core of the reforms and won him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Since the fighting in Tigray broke out in November last year, Abi’s transition from making peace to launching war has shocked many observers. Since then, the world has been struggling to enter most of the region and investigate increasing allegations of atrocities, including gang rape and forced starvation. Thousands of people were killed in 6 million areas.
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Soon after the Tigray Provisional Government appointed by the federal government fled the regional capital of Meckler and called for a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds so that much-needed assistance could be provided, the Ethiopian statement was reported by the official media.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement that he had talked with the prime minister, “I hope the two sides can effectively cease hostilities.”
The Tigray warrior ignored the statement and occupied the airport
At the same time, for the first time since the Ethiopian army occupied the city and Abi declared victory in late November, the residents of Mekele cheered the return of the Tigray army for the first time.
The Tigray fighters were loyal to the former regional ruling party, which had dominated the Ethiopian government for many years before being squeezed out by the new prime minister, and launched guerrilla warfare over the rugged terrain of the region to undermine the manifesto.
According to a nurse at the Aide Hospital, when Tigray’s troops occupied Mekley’s airport and other key locations and broadcast a message telling residents to stop celebrating and go home, the retreating Ethiopian soldiers reported to Mekley University The student opened fire, causing two deaths and three injuries. Fearing reprisals, he requested anonymity.
The Tigray people, even those who did not support the formerly ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front before the war, said that they had become severe targets for being suspected of ties to the Tigray fighters. Ethiopia denies this.
But in an interview aired last week, Abi recalled that the aid to Tigray during the devastating famine in Ethiopia in the 1980s supported the Tigray fighters and eventually overthrew the ruling regime, which shocked observers. He said that things like this “will never happen.”
A ceasefire aimed at helping farmers
Monday’s ceasefire statement marked a new approach, at least for some time.
The ceasefire “will enable farmers to cultivate their land, and aid groups will operate without any military action and contact the remnants. [of Tigray’s former ruling party] People seeking peace,” the Ethiopian statement said, adding that efforts to “bring to justice” the former leader of Tigray continued.
Ethiopia stated that the ceasefire will last until the end of the critical planting season in Tigray. The season ends in September.
The government ordered all federal and regional authorities to abide by the ceasefire agreement-this is crucial because authorities and fighters from the neighboring Amhara region have been accused of committing atrocities in western Tigray.
“The government has the responsibility to find a political solution to this problem,” the head of the interim government, Abraham Belle, said when calling for a ceasefire, noting that some people in the former ruling party in Tigray were willing to contact the federal government.
The Tigray fighters did not immediately comment, and Ethiopia refused to hold talks with them. Neighboring Eritrea did not immediately comment, and residents of Tigray accused its soldiers of committing some of the worst atrocities in the war.
“If Abiy really wants to find a political solution, he must first remove the terrorism label against the elected government of Tigre,” said Desta Helesrassi Hargos, who was responsible for compiling the list of war victims. He said Abi needs to order the Eritrean soldiers to leave.
UNICEF: Children face “imminent risk of death”
In recent days, Tigray has witnessed the fiercest battle in the conflict.
Last week, after a military airstrike on a busy market killed more than 60 people, international pressure on Ethiopia soared again after Doctors Without Borders stated that three staff members were murdered in another incident.
During Monday’s turmoil, the UN Children’s Agency stated that Ethiopian soldiers entered its office in Meckler and dismantled satellite communications equipment, claiming that this action violated the UN’s immunity.
UNICEF warned last week that at least 33,000 severely malnourished children face an “imminent risk of death” if the people of Tigray do not receive more assistance.