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Truce in Ethiopia


Ethiopian government negotiators and rebels in the Tigray region reached a truce this week that could end their two-year war in which hundreds of thousands have died in fighting, starvation and war crimes charges have been filed. Given that the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) has reportedly agreed to lay down its arms and the government has agreed to restore basic services in its badly battered northern region.

This step forward, taken less than forty-eight hours before the two-year anniversary of the conflict, raises great hopes and means rest for the civilian population after nearly two years of conflict. Since November 2020, the war has displaced more than two million Ethiopians and plunged hundreds of thousands into deprivation and starvation. But this agreement is not yet peace: it is a cessation of hostilities. The composition and designation of committee members responsible for the implementation of the agreement will be critical. First of all, important issues remain unresolved, including the question of Eritrea. The role of the neighboring country in the peace agreement is not clear after it joined the war on the side of Ethiopia.

The peace agreement is great news; the immediate cessation of this particularly brutal war would benefit everyone. However, it remains to be seen if the Tigrayans will keep their promise to disarm and if the Ethiopians will open up access so aid organizations can deliver desperately needed aid to the civilian population.

The truce is a success for African Union chief and Senegalese President Maki Sall, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who helped broker the deal. The implementation of the "road map" will be of decisive importance, since the fighting in Tigray is still ongoing.


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