NAIROBI (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s government and forces from the Tigray region have agreed to stop fighting, a dramatic breakthrough after two years of war that killed thousands, displaced millions and threatened to tear apart Africa’s second most-populous country.
The warring parties signed an agreement in Pretoria on Wednesday for a “permanent cessation of hostilities” after talks mediated by the African Union (AU).
Below are some of the key points contained in the text shared by Redwan Hussien, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s national security adviser and the government’s lead negotiator at the talks.
CEASEFIRE AND RESTORATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER
– Both sides agree to end all forms of hostilities, including acts of violence, sabotage, air strikes, and “hostile propaganda, rhetoric, and hate speech”.
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– They agree they will not collude with any external force hostile to either party.
– Federal authority will be restored in Tigray, including control of federal institutions.
– The government will ensure that Tigray is represented in federal institutions, including parliament.
– Both parties recognise that Ethiopia has only one defence force.
– The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that dominates Tigray, agrees to fully disarm, including light weapons, within 30 days.
– TPLF fighters will enter a disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme.
– Ethiopia’s military will return to the Tigray regional capital, Mekelle.
RECOGNITION AND NEW ELECTIONS
– The agreement is between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF, and it makes no reference to an elected “government of Tigray.” This was one of the bones of contention in the conflict, as the government did not recognise the last regional vote held in Tigray, which the TPLF won, as legal.
– A new interim administration will be appointed to govern Tigray until elections are held at an unspecified date.
– The federal government pledges to lift the TPLF’s “terrorist” designation and begin a political dialogue with the group to resolve their differences.
– Both sides will protect civilians and uphold international humanitarian laws to which Ethiopia is a party. Reuters and other media have documented human rights violations by all sides, including extra-judicial killings, raping, and looting – allegations denied by the warring parties.
– The government will work with humanitarian agencies to ensure aid begins quickly flowing back into Tigray. The United Nations says aid has effectively been blocked since violence erupted again in August, ending a previous ceasefire. The government has consistently denied blocking aid.
– The government will facilitate the return of those displaced by the war where the security situation allows, and it will coordinate the restoration of essential services in Tigray.
– The agreement provides for a new “transitional justice policy” aimed at ascertaining the truth, accountability, redress for victims, reconciliation and healing.
– A committee chaired by the AU will be formed to monitor and verify implementation of the agreement.
– The committee will include representatives from the government, the TPLF and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in East Africa.
– Neither Eritrea nor forces from other Ethiopian regions that have fought alongside Ethiopia’s army are mentioned in the agreement. The agreement does say the Ethiopian army will safeguard the security of the country from “foreign incursion”, but analysts are concerned about whether Eritrea – the TPLF’s sworn enemy – will listen.
– Thorny political issues, such as the future of disputed territory claimed by both Tigray and the neighbouring region of Amhara, remain unresolved.
– Also to be determined are details of how to implement key provisions in the deal, including who will be part of the Tigray’s interim administration.
(Reporting by Tommy Reggiori Wilkes; Editing by Alexandra Zavis and Mark Heinrich)
Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.
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Publish date : 2022-11-04 15:57:00