Ethiopia: Tigray rebels offer conditional truce
TPLF commander Debretsion Gebremichael calls for a conditional cessation of hostilities in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) has offered a conditional truce as fighting intensifies between the armed forces and pro-government forces and humanitarian aid is cut off in northern Ethiopia, a rebel spokesperson said Friday.
The resumption of fighting on August 24 ended a five-month truce.
TPLF commander Debretsion Gebremichael called for a conditional cessation of hostilities in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday, as combat intensified on multiple fronts.
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In this letter, obtained by AFP and authenticated by Getachew Reda, the TPLF spokesperson, Debretsion Gebremichael, said the truce depended in particular on "unhindered humanitarian access" and the return of essential services in the Tigray region.
Ethiopia: Doctors beg for food as 40% of Tigrayans wallow in “in extreme food shortage” | Africanews https://t.co/88XtrYKFB9 #Tigray #Ethiopia #Africanews— africanews 😷 (@africanews) January 28, 2022
Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, is cut off from the rest of the country and without power, telecommunications networks, banking services, or petrol.
The delivery of humanitarian aid by road and air has also been completely interrupted since the fighting resumed. This return to hostilities "is already affecting the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people, including the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance" in Afar, Amhara, and Tigray, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Thursday.
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Fighting has escalated in northern Tigray, where the Ethiopian army, supported by forces from neighboring Eritrea, is attacking rebel positions, according to diplomatic and foreign sources who requested anonymity.
Despite humanitarian truce in Tigray, millions still wait for aid https://t.co/InqKsKTEfr— africanews 😷 (@africanews) March 30, 2022
Journalists do not have access to northern Ethiopia, making independent verification impossible.
Debretsion Gebremichael requested "the departure of Eritrean forces from Ethiopia and the Tiger territory under international supervision" in his letter.
The TPLF commander also requested that the UN Security Council remove soldiers from western Tigray, a territory that is disputed and claimed by both Amharas and Tigrayans, resulting in significant displacement. Washington has also condemned "ethnic cleansing" in the region.
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The Ethiopian government has not officially responded to this letter.
At the same time, diplomatic efforts to cease the hostilities continue, while both sides blame each other for the fresh violence.
The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, arrived in Addis Ababa on Monday and will prolong his stay in Ethiopia, where his European counterpart Annette Weber is due soon, diplomatic sources told AFP.
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