Ethiopia at UN calls for quicker progress on peace deal
Ethiopia told the United Nations on Saturday it wanted quicker implementation of a peace deal in Tigray.
Ethiopia told the United Nations on Saturday that it wanted the Tigray peace agreement, including the disarmament of former rebels, to be implemented as soon as possible.
In November last year, Ethiopia's government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) reached an accord in Pretoria that has largely halted a brutal two-year war.
"The implementation of the agreement continues to make significant progress despite some delays in the execution of the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration process," Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
He added that "there is a need to expedite this process and ensure its successful completion."
On a further note, the TPLF agreed to disarm under the Pretoria deal as government forces advanced.
An African Union monitoring team reported in January that the TPLF had begun handing over heavy weapons, and Tigray authorities stated in July that more than 50,000 fighters had been demobilized, but the extent of implementation is unknown.
Demeke stated that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government, which has been heavily criticized, especially by the US, for alleged human rights breaches, remains "committed to consolidating peace and stability throughout the country."
The agreement brokered in South Africa by the African Union "is a practical embodiment of African solutions to African problems," Demeke said.
Complicating matters, forces from the adjacent Amhara area continue to rule Western Tigray, creating a potentially explosive hotspot.
The Pretoria deal called for the removal of foreign forces, but residents say troops from neighboring Eritrea, which has been accused of some of the worst abuses since acting against the TPLF, remain on the ground.