The Ethiopian government on Thursday announced that a joint team of military experts meeting in Shire, the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
In a statement it released on social media, the Ministry for Government Communication Services said the team is drawn from the Ethiopian Federal government and Tigray armed groups.
Noticeable from the statement is that the name Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was not mentioned. It instead used the name “Tigray Armed groups.”
The joint committee that is meeting in Shire is said to be discussing details of implementing the task of disarming “Tigray armed groups.”
According to the Ministry, the team started working on Wednesday of this week. It is believed that the team will complete its work in “the next few days,” it was said.
Detailed work plans to disarm the rebel groups and move them to designated camps are among the questions that are expected to be addressed when the joint committee completes work.
Peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was signed on November 2, 2022, in Pretoria, South Africa.
According to the agreement, the TPLF forces were expected to be disarmed within one month from the date the agreement was signed.
The Ethiopian government said the task of planning the implementation was delayed due to “technical issues.”
The spokesperson mentioned that “the security interests of Tigray and the political conditions that gave rise to the conflict need to be addressed” before his forces disarm completely.
The conflict in Northern Ethiopia, which is believed to have claimed the lives of at least half a million people, started in November 2020 when the TPLF attacked several posts of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces. Thousands of soldiers were massacred while sleeping and in an absolutely defenseless situation.
Demtis Woyane, principal of TPLF media, on Thursday announced that the TPLF is withdrawing its forces from areas South, North and West areas of the Tigray region in accordance with the Pretoria peace agreement.
It said it has withdrawn from Chercher, Zalambessa, Nebelet, kukufto, Hidumberda, Abergele, and Beri Kehlay areas.
Last month, the Ethiopian government said it controls more than 70 percent of the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Reports from State Media this week indicate that the Ethiopian Defense Force is engaged in community work in the Tigray region including harvesting crops for farmers.
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