Ethiopia and Tigray: towards a peace agreement?
Written by: Inès Guttinger
Edition: Léandre Saussay
On the 2nd of November, the Ethiopian federal government and the rebel authorities in Tigray reached an agreement in Pretoria (South Africa) on the cessation of hostilities. Only two days before the second anniversary of the deadly conflict in northern Ethiopia, both sides of the conflict signed up for an "orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament". This agreement should allow some restoration of order and humanitarian aid services in Tigray. While it reveals the willingness of both parties to put the past behind them and achieve peace, full implementation of the agreement is still pending.
The details of the agreement and its implementation have not been fully disclosed. The mediators haven’t indicated what the document says about other actors in the conflict, including the Eritrean army, which is a sworn enemy of the Tigrayan leadership as it supports the Ethiopian federal army in Tigray.
Former South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the two signatories "are not the only two groups with a role to play in bringing peace to Ethiopia" and called on the signatories to "share this agreement" so that "many others will join in".
Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, hailed "a very welcome first step", and Washington "an important step towards peace" in Ethiopia.
On the 12th of November, as part of the agreement implementation talks, rebels and Ethiopian federal authorities agreed on "humanitarian access to all those in need" in Tigray.
Fighting continues in Tigray, where Ethiopian federal forces have been deployed since October. They have recently seized several major towns in the rebel region. This agreement holds out hope that the crimes against humanity that are perpetrated daily in this part of the world will soon come to an end.