Ethiopian government team in Tigray after November 2 peace deal
An Ethiopian government delegation visits Tigray to supervise the implementation of major issues in the November 2 peace agreement.
A high-level Ethiopian team arrived Monday in the capital of rebel-held Tigray for a first official visit following a peace deal aimed at ending a brutal two-year conflict.
An Ethiopian government statement said the delegation visiting the Tigrayan capital Mekele will "supervise the implementation of major issues in the peace agreement" signed on November 2.
The statement highlighted that "the delegation is the first of its stature as a high-level federal government body heading to Mekele in two years."
"This gesture is an attestation to the peace agreement getting on the right track and progressing," it added.
The delegation was greeted by rebel authorities, including their Spokesperson Getachew Reda, Tigrayan photographs showed.
The war began in November 2020 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray after accusing the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party in the region, of attacking army bases.
The conflict has unleashed one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters in recent times. According to UN figures, more than two million people have been displaced, hundreds of thousands have been driven to the brink of famine and around 13.6 million people are dependent on humanitarian aid.
Of these, 5.4 million are in Tigray, seven in Amhara, and 1.2 million in Afar.
The peace agreement signed in the South African capital Pretoria provides for the disarmament of rebel forces, the re-establishment of federal authority in Tigray, and the reopening of access to the region.
The two sides on Thursday agreed to create a joint monitoring and compliance mechanism to oversee the deal and receive complaints about any abuse towards civilians.
Since the deal was signed, aid has started to arrive gradually in Tigray, going some way to alleviating dire shortages of food, fuel, cash, and medicines.
But the region of six million is still largely without electricity and phone lines, while internet and banking services have only partly been restored.
Mekele was hooked up to the national electricity grid on December 6, and the country's biggest bank, the Commercial bank of Ethiopia, announced on December 19 that financial operations had resumed in some towns.
The rebels say that two-thirds of their forces have disengaged from the front lines.
Pro-government forces -- specifically troops from Eritrea to the north, and militias from the Ethiopian region of Amhara -- are not mentioned in the peace deal but remain in Tigray.
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