Ethiopian Defense Force will take over Mekelle to ensure law and order according to the peace agreement
The Nairobi talk on the implementation of the peace agreement signed between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) concluded in agreement.
Security advisor to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Redwan Hussien, said “The Declaration of Executive plan of the Pretoria peace agreement has just been signed. Again African Solutions for African problems have been upheld.”
Chief of the Ethiopian Defense Force, Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, and TPLF forces commander, Tadesse Worede, had been holding talks on disarmament of TPLF forces, restoration of social services, and flow of humanitarian aid to the Tigray region.
Former Nigerian President who is currently the African Union special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo, has hailed the commitment to peace from both sides. He was the chief facilitator of the talk.
The talk was initially intended to end on Wednesday.
Ethiopia’s Communication Services Ministry said that an agreement has been reached for TPLF combatants to disarm within a timeframe indicated in the agreement. It is unspecified in the statement from the Ministry. However, there have been reports that the TPLF has agreed to disarm within a month of the agreement.
Leaked unofficial documents indicate that TPLF disarmament is to go hand in hand with the withdrawal of “Eritrean Forces and forces from Amhara region,” from the Tigray region.
Another key issue, based on the statement from the Ministry, is that the Ethiopian Defense Forces take control of Mekelle. Again the time is unspecified but local sources indicate that the Ethiopian Defense Force is to take over within a week’s time.
It has also called on relevant bodies in the region to do their part to ensure the implementation of the agreement.
The Ethiopian government has announced that 70 percent of the Tigray region is under the control of the Ethiopian Defense Forces.
Many of the areas under the Ethiopian Defense Force have seen the restoration of services including banking and electric power.
Also, the Ethiopian government said humanitarian aid has been trickling into the parts of Tigray under the Ethiopian government forces, and that it will continue to ensure that aid is delivered.
According to the peace talk, the TPLF will not run the administration in the region. An interim administration is to be named by the Ethiopian government until the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia organizes a regional election.
The two years war claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and ruined infrastructures including health and educational institutions. The Ministry of Finance estimated that $20 billion is needed for the reconstruction effort in the war-torn areas namely Afar, Amhara, and Tigray regions.
While Ethiopians are applauding the agreement that is reached, there are strong voices that there is no guarantee that Ethiopia is not facing another conflict for they see the constitution and the ethnic-based administration as the source of the conflict.
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