Ethiopia Reaches Civil War Peace Agreement
After about two years of a civil war between Ethiopia and its Tigray region, a permanent peace agreement was reached on Wednesday, November 3rd in Pretoria, South Africa. The agreement was reached after talks between the two sides with the involvement of the African Union, the federal government of Ethiopia, and representatives for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The agreement will see hostilities halted, the provision of services returned, and aid allowed to move freely in Tigray. The Ethiopian government will assume control of the region while the TPLF will have to disarm and demobilize its forces. The AU will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement.
“Our commitment to peace remains steadfast and our commitment to collaborating for the implementation of the agreement is equally strong,” said Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed. Ahmed called the agreement monumental and thanked his country’s national defense forces along with the people of Ethiopia for remaining strong in a difficult period.
The lead negotiator of the Ethiopian government, Redwan Hussein, called on both sides to respect the agreement. Getachew Reda, the representative for the TPLF agreed with his counterpart even though he admitted that difficult concessions had to be made.
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A peace agreement was previously reached in August, but it collapsed shortly after. The conflict in Ethiopia has caused more than 500,000 deaths because of violence from battles and drone strikes. There have been accusations of atrocities such as gang rape and ethnic cleansing.
The war has been a major hindrance to the normal way of life for many Ethiopian citizens. It has led to the displacement of close to a million people and disrupted the movement of food and medical supplies. The war has been a direct cause of famine in the country. The Ethiopian government has been accused of preventing the movement of food to the Tigray region as means of fighting the war.
The peace deal has been applauded but it still remains to be seen whether it will last the distance. Eritrea, Ethiopia’s neighbor and an ally of the government in the conflict, was not part of the peace talks even though it has played a significant role in the conflict.
The conflict spilled over into other regions of Ethiopia, namely Amhara and Afar. Amhara forces were also participants in the conflict but had no representative during the peace talks. There is also disputed territory which the Amharas claim as their own. “Any agreement that does not recognize…Welkait and Raya under Amhara administration will not be acceptable to Amharas and will not bring lasting peace,” Desalegn Chane, a legislator and politician said.