Thursday, May 19

Ethiopia declares a ceasefire as Tigray rebels advance



The government of Ethiopia announced this Monday that it has accepted the request for Stop the fire presented by the regional administration of Tigray, which in principle will last until the end of the agricultural season, in September, according to Ethiopian state television.

In a statement, the central authorities explained that they have accepted this offer of cessation of hostilities from the interim administration that will allow “farmers to till their land, aid groups to operate without any kind of military movement in the surroundings and commit to the remnants of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) seeking peace, “says DPA.

The head of the acting administration imposed by the Ethiopian Government in the Tigray region, Abraham Belay, had called for a ceasefire ahead of the next agricultural season, according to Fana, after consulting with representatives and officials in the region.

The announcement comes hours after government representatives and Army soldiers left Mekele in a hurry, according to unofficially confirmed reports on Twitter, which would have prompted the TPLF to take over the city, reports the ‘Addis Standard’. According to witnesses, the access roads to the regional capital would be full of residents celebrating the return to the city of the TPLF.

Following the news of the unilateral ceasefire announced by the Ethiopian Government, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has reported that he has spoken with the prime minister of the African country, Abiy Ahmed, to convey their “hope that there will be an effective cessation of hostilities.”

In a statement, the highest representative of the UN noted that “the recent events in Tigray are extremely worrying” and demonstrate “once again, that there is no military solution to the crisis.” “It is essential that civilians are protected, that humanitarian aid reaches people in need and that a political solution is found,” urged Guterres.

The conflict in Tigray

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced in November 2020 the start of a military offensive against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF), in response to a group attack on the main Army base in Mekelle after a drastic rise in tensions between training and the central government.

UN agencies and NGOs have seen their room for maneuver limited in the area, in a context marked by a serious humanitarian crisis in Tigray.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has denounced in its latest report on the situation, published this Friday, cases of “harassment, intimidation and detention” of aid workers, as well as the confiscation of aid.

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