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Ethiopia and Tigray rebels sign peace deal

Commanders of both Ethiopian and Tigrayan forces signed the deal, which would deliver humanitarian aid and disarm rebels within the coming days.

The signing comes after both sides agreed to a peace deal in South Africa that was brokered by the African Union earlier this month.

Representatives of the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed an agreement on Saturday to implement a peace deal, seeking to put an end to the two-year conflict. 

Both sides agreed to protect civilians and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region of more than 5 million people, the Associated Press reported citing the text of the accord.

Commanders of both armies had been meeting in Kenya’s capital Nairobi since Monday, to discuss the terms of the agreement,

“We will fully dedicate ourselves to implementing the Pretoria agreement and this declaration,” said Birhanu Jula, a senior Ethiopian military official and one of the government representatives at the talks.

The deal will go into effect “immediately”, mediator Olusegun Obasanjo told a news conference before the signing.

Humanitarian aid to follow

Ethiopian authorities said in a statement that “efforts are being made to deliver humanitarian assistance to most of the Tigray region which is under (Ethiopian military) command.” 

Aid agencies were preparing to send a humanitarian assistance convoy to Alamata in southern Tigray next week and were working out the final details for getting aid to other areas, Reuters reported on Saturday.

Both sides of the conflict had discussed “detailed plans for disarmament” of Tigray forces, including an agreement on the entry of Ethiopian forces into regional capital Mekele, the statement read.

Disarmament will start on November 15, Reuters reported, citing the text of the agreement.

The Tigray conflict began in November 2020, less than a year after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for making peace with Eritrea, which borders the Tigray region and whose fighters have been fighting alongside Ethiopian federal troops in Tigray.

The war in Africa’s second-most populous country had left millions of people displaced and many near famine.

Source: Reuters