Ethiopia - Conflict

Obasanjo in Tigray to assess peace implementation

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Olusegun Obasanjo, African Union Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa and chief mediator of the Ethiopian conflict is in the Tigrayan capital Mekelle to assess the implementation of the peace deal signed in Pretoria, South Africa earlier this month.

Former South African Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, one of the panelists in the peace talks, is part of Obassanjo’s delegation to Tigray. 

Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of the Tigray People's Liberation Front and the spokesperson of the front Getachew Reda was seen in the company of the mediators who greeted them on arrival at Mekelle airport on Thursday.

The purpose of Obasanjo’s visit to Mekelle is to evaluate the progress of the implementation of the Pretoria agreement.

However, the African Union are yet to make an official pronouncement on Obasanjo's mission. 

The visit came after Reda reportedly said TPLF fighters would only lay down their arms after Eritrean forces and non Ethiopian combatants withdraw from Tigray.

The TPLF combatants are abusing the peace deal, rather using the agreement as a cover to mobilize military equipment and new recruits, sources claimed to APA.

This could not be verified.

A deal between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF for a ceasefire was reached in Pretoria on November 2, leading to a second round of talks between military commanders of the Ethiopian Defense Force and the rebels in Nairobi – which discussed the modalities of implementing a subsequent peace agreement. 

Just a day after the Nairobi agreement, TPLF political leaders released a statement indicating that the movement was party to the peace deal with the Ethiopian government both in Pretoria and Nairobi. 

Apart from agreeing to disarm TPLF combatants, one of the key points in the agreement was for rebel leaders to renounce claims of a Tigrayan government independent of Addis Ababa. 

As part of the agreement, the TPLF recognizes the Ethiopian government which was not the case immediately before and during the two-year-long conflict in which tens of thousands had died and over two million have been displaced. 


MG/as/APA

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