African Union special envoy testimony after his visit to Mekelle is that humanitarian aid is delivered and social services started.
The African Union has formed a team to monitor and verify the implementation of the Pretoria Peace agreement. The team is composed of three members and it will be following up on the implementation of the agreement pertaining to military and civil affairs.
The Military teams are drawn from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. They are Maj. General R. Stephen from Kenya, Col. R. Omar from Nigeria and Col. T. Sekol from South Africa. R. Stephen is said to be the team leader.
They oversaw as the Federal Police took over the task of securing Federal institutions in Mekelle.
Ethiopian News Agency cited the team leader as saying that the committee will monitor and verify the implementation and report back to the African Union.
Agreement to establish a joint committee to monitor and verify the implementation of the peace talk was reached in Nairobi last week after the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force and TPLF combatants leader Tadesse Worede held days of second round discussion.
However, according to that agreement, the joint committee was to be drawn from the Ethiopian government, the TPLF, African Union and IGAD.
Ethiopian Defense Force is posted in Agula, near Mekele, and is expected to acquire heavy weaponry that the TPLF forces agreed to disarm in accordance with the Pretoria agreement.
TPLF’s military standing was significantly weakened immediately before the U.S. pressure and African Union mediation effort led the two parties to South Africa, Pretoria for peace talks. How significant TPLF’s arsenal of heavy weaponry is unknown at this point.
The monitoring team will oversee the process of heavy weaponry transfer to the hands of the Ethiopian Defense Force.
The Ethiopian government on Thursday deployed an unspecified number of Ethiopian Federal Police Force in Mekelle to protect federal institutions including the airport.
African Union special envoy and mediators, IGAD secretary in Mekelle
Meanwhile, Olusegun Obasanjo, African Union Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa who has been the key facilitator in the peace talk, was in Mekelle on Thursday.
He was joined by Uhuru Kenyatta, one of the panelists during the peace talk, and Workeneh Gebeyehu who is the secretary of IGAD.
The purpose of the trip was to evaluate the state of the implementation of the peace process.
Ethiopian state media cited Olusegun Obasanjo as saying that he has observed that humanitarian assistance is being delivered and social services resumed.
Mekelle is now getting three daily Ethiopian Airlines flights. Banking and Telecom services have resumed and electric power is reconnected.
The Ethiopian government is saying that it has delivered over 106,000 metric tons of humanitarian aid to the Tigray region.
The Ethiopian government did not say if the parts of Afar and Amhara regions that were devastated by the war are also getting similar support from the government.
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