Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces commander, Tadesse Worede, has announced that 65 percent of his forces have withdrawn from combat zones in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
However, he said that his organization will not disarm fully. VOA Amharic cited the rebel’s military commander as saying, “As long as there are forces that are not interested in peace, our forces will not disarm fully before the issue is resolved.”
Furthermore, he made accusations that the forces, which he did not specify by name, are gathering our heavy weaponry in a certain place and that there is no international observer – whatsoever – in the area.
Last month, TPLF spokesperson, Getachew Reda, said that disarming TPLF forces could take months if not years. He linked total disarmament to what they called the security threat to “Tigray” and resolved the political conditions that gave rise to the conflict, in his words.
The TPLF and its propaganda wing have been accusing Eritrean forces of “rights abuse” in the Tigray region of Ethiopia after a peace agreement was signed between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF in Pretoria early last month.
However, the TPLF claims were not confirmed by neutral sources.
According to the TPLF forces were to fully disarm all its forces within a month after the Pretoria Peace agreement. The current TPLF position amounts to violating the terms of the peace agreement.
The Ethiopian government has not yet remarked on the TPLF’s latest position.
Some political and military leaders of TPLF are said to have, based on reports from local sources, interest in implementing the peace agreement.
TPLF leaders like Debretsion Gebremichael bashed, during a meeting with religious leaders, TPLF supporters based in the diaspora who are blaming the leaders for signing the peace agreement.
But time will tell if TPLF leaders mean it and if they will not resort to war again.
The commitment on the part of the Ethiopian government?
Meanwhile, it is said that over 40,000 metric tonnes of food and non-food items have been delivered to the Tigray region. It is a commitment that the Ethiopian government entered into as part of the peace agreement.
Towns and cities that are under Ethiopian government control are said to get services including telephone and banking very soon. Ethio Telecom has said that it could start service in Shire – a city that allied forces took control of days before the Ethiopian government and TPLF agreed to meet in South Africa for a peace talk – in the next few days.
Ethiopian Airlines has already announced that it has finalized preparation to resume flights to Shire, Adigrat and Mekeke but the resumption of flights to Aksum, a top tourist destination in the region.
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