Nairobi, Kenya — The Ethiopian government has announced an immediate unilateral ceasefire in the Tigray region after nearly eight months of deadly conflict. And as hundreds of thousands of people face the worst famine in a decade,
A ceasefire could calm the war. This makes Africa’s second most populous country unstable. and threatening to do the same in the wider Horn of Africa, where Ethiopia is seen as a key security partner for the West. It came as the country awaits the outcome of a national election that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promoted to be the center of reforms that earned him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Abiy’s transition from peacemaking to war has stunned many observers since fighting in Tigray erupted in November. since then The world is also having trouble accessing most of the land and investigating growing allegations of atrocities. This included mass rape and forced starvation.
The Ethiopian statement was carried out by state media shortly after Tigray’s interim government appointed by the central government. fleeing from the capital of the Mekele region and demanding a ceasefire for humanitarian reasons so that much needed aid can be delivered.
Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said in a statement that He spoke with the Prime Minister and “I hope that an effective cessation of the fighting will take place.”
meanwhile Mekele residents cheer for the return of Tigray forces for the first time since Ethiopian forces took the city in late November. And Abi declares victory, a Tigray fighter loyal to the former regional ruling party that dominated the Ethiopian government for years before being sidelined by a new prime minister. Undermine the declaration with guerrilla warfare in the rugged regions of the region.
The Tigrayans, even those who did not support the former leader of the pre-war Tigray People’s Liberation Front, said they were severely targeted for suspected involvement in the Tigray fighters. Ethiopia has denied it.
But in an interview aired last week, Abiy alarmed observers by recalling the aid Tigray aided during Ethiopia’s devastating famine in the 1980s, encouraging Tigray fighters to eventually overthrow the regime. That would “never happen” now, he said.
The announcement of the ceasefire on Monday signaled a new approach. at least for a while
The ceasefire “will help the peasants farm their fields. Aid groups can operate without any military movement. and engage with the rest “For Justice”
Ethiopia said the ceasefire would continue until the end of a crucial planting season in Tigray. The end of the season will come in September. The government ordered federal and regional officials to respect the ceasefire. which is extremely important Officers and fighters from the neighboring Amhara region were accused of atrocities in West Tigray.
“The government is responsible for finding solutions to political problems,” said Abraham Bailey, interim head of the administration. said in a call for a ceasefire. And added that some elements within Tigray’s former ruling party were willing to contribute to the federal government.
There was no immediate comment from the Tigray fighters, with which Ethiopia denied talks. and there was no immediate comment from nearby Eritrea. The soldiers were accused of the most atrocities in the war by the Tai Grays.
Thousands have been killed in the conflict as Ethiopian and allied forces pursue former Tigray leaders and their supporters. And while humanitarian groups have asked for more access to the area of 6 million people.
In the past few days, the region has witnessed the most intense battles. International pressure on Ethiopia rose again last week after military air strikes on a busy market in Tigray. More than 60 people were killed and after Doctors Without Borders said three officers were killed in another incident.
Amid the chaos on Monday The United Nations Children’s Agency said Ethiopian soldiers entered its office in Mekele. and dismantling satellite communication equipment Such actions violate the immunity of the terrestrial body. UNICEF warned last week that at least 33,000 severely malnourished children face “risk of death” without additional assistance in reaching the people of Tigray