TPLF has agreed to the principle of a single national defense force in Ethiopia and is to disarm
Updated on November 2, 2022 at 3:00 P.M. Toronto time
After ten days of intense peace talks in South Africa between the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the African Union on Wednesday announced that it is concluded.
The two parties have issued a joint statement after the signing ceremony between the two parties. The two parties have agreed to end hostilities.
Despite the relentless effort by the United States’ government to influence the talk in favor of the TPLF, the rebel group that has caused the conflict has agreed to disarm. The group has accepted that Ethiopia should only have a single national defense force.
The group started to use the name Tigray Defense Force (TDF) after the outbreak of the war in November 2020.
Special forces in the regional states, which are based on ethnicity, have been causing public concerns. It is unclear if the Ethiopian government is abolishing all the “special forces” in the regions.
The Ethiopian government is to continue restoring social services to the Tigray region of Ethiopia – an activity that it has been doing in the past two weeks after clearing strings of towns and cities from the TPLF forces.
Olusegun Obasanjo, African Union Special Representative to the Horn of Africa and chief mediator, remarked that the agreement would allow humanitarian supplies to Tigray and restoration of services.
He also announced that a high-level African Union panel is to inspect the implementation of the agreement.
The African Union, the government of South Africa (host to the talk), the United States and United nations have congratulated parties to the agreement.
The United States and United Nations were attending the talk as “observers.”
The war broke out two years ago when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked the unsuspecting Ethiopian Defense Force of the Northern Command posted in different posts in the region.
The Ethiopian government or the TPLF rebel forces have not yet released the number of casualties from the war but it is believed that hundreds of thousands of people have died from both sides.
Properties and infrastructures worth billions of dollars had been destroyed including social service-providing institutions like health centers, schools and universities.
After the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in July 2021, which the TPLF ridiculed as a “sick joke,” at the time, the rebel group controlled vast areas in the Afar and Amhara regions where it carried out massacres.
Thousands of civilians were killed including women and children. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in the Afar and Amhara regions.
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