Ethio Telecom, Banks, Electric power and the airport in Mekelle are now under the protection of the Federal Police
The Ethiopian Federal government on Thursday deployed the Federal Police Force to Mekelle – the seat of the Tigray regional state.
It is tasked to protect federal institutions in the city including the airport. It is also in charge of other Federal institutions including Banks, Electric power plants and Ethio Telecom service.
Deployment is part of the Pretoria Peace Agreement between the Ethiopian government and the rebel group Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which the Ethiopian Parliament designated as a terrorist organization.
Ethiopian Airlines resumed daily flights to Mekelle ( it is now said to be three times a day due to the rise in the demand for air transportation) and Shire town.
Federal police have been deployed to other parts of the Tigray region that are under the control of Ethiopian Forces.
Implementation of the Pretoria Peace Agreement
Senior military commanders of the Ethiopian Government and the TPLF met in Nairobi ( two times; in November and December of this year) to discuss the implementation of the Pretoria peace agreement.
Statements released at the end of the discussion say that both sides have committed themselves to fully implementing the African Union-brokered peace agreement. There are observations that the United States has an influential process in the course of the negotiation including in the Nairobi meeting.
According to the agreement, the Ethiopian government was committed to distributing humanitarian aid in the region and restoring services.
Most of the cities (including Mekelle) and towns in the region have now seen the restoration of electric power, telephone lines and banking services.
On the part of the TPLF, it was expected to renounce its claim as the government of Tigray which has not happened yet. Disarming its combatants, another key point to which the TPLF committed, is not implemented fully either. The TPLF refused to do so on grounds of alleged Eritrean Forces and Amhara militia presence in the region.
The tension between “TPLF” and Tigray regional council
There has been a perception that TPLF and the government bodies in the Tigray region are one and the same thing which made sense given the TPLF entirely dominated the regional structure and government bodies. In fact, TPLF even went further, at one point before the war, that there is no difference between the people of Tigray and TPLF.
A day after the implementation agreement was signed in Nairobi, a statement was released by an entity in Tigray and there was a claim that the TPLF did not take part in the Pretoria agreement and the Nairobi meeting.
Debretsion Gebremichal, TPLF chairman, gave a clue about it when he was speaking to Ethiopian government delegates on Monday. But still blurry.
What he said was that there was a conversation between himself, apparently as TPLF chairman, and the “council of Tigray region.”
He said that the council is standing on the position that the agreement is between TPLF and the Federal government, and asked the Federal government for the full implementation of the agreement. Clearly, the antithesis is “TPLF did not take part in the Pretoria agreement.”
There are still ambiguities and the Federal government is not aggressively demanding the TPLF to implement the agreement – especially the formation of a transitional administration in Tigray and disarming all the TPLF forces.
A considerable number of Ethiopians who are sharing views and opinions on social media platforms have been raising red flags about it.
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