Representatives from Ethiopia’s federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have agreed to cease hostilities at peace talks in South Africa on Wednesday.
The peace agreement, designed to bring to an end two years of civil conflict, was called ‘an African solution to an African problem’ by African Union mediator Olusegun Obasanjo, the former Nigerian president who has been leading the mediation.
Obasanjo, in the first briefing on the peace talks said Ethiopia’s government and the TPLF have agreed on “orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament” along with “restoration of law and order,” “restoration of services” and “unhindered access to humanitarian supplies.”
The implementation of the peace agreement will be supervised and monitored by an AU high-level panel.
The cessation of fighting is being heralded internationally, as estimates of the number killed by conflict-related causes number in the hundreds of thousands after two-years of fighting.
Millions have been displaced and on the brink of starvation. The two-year communications shutdown of internet and telephone services in Tigray region has been among world’s longest.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s National Security Adviser, Redwan Hussien, the Ethiopian government representative, said all parties should be true to the letter and spirit of the agreement.
Tigray delegate Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the regional authorities, spoke of the wide scale death and destruction in the region and said it was his hope and expectation that both parties will honor their commitments.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the truce in Ethiopia a 'welcome first step', saying he hopes it will 'bring some solace to civilians, a UN spokesman said Wednesday.