News: ENDF will assume the responsibility of safeguarding the peace and security of the areas adjacent to the Amhara and Tigray territories: Gov’t Communication Services

Legesse Tulu, Minister of Government Communication Services

Addis Abeba – The federal government has issued a statement indicating that the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) will assume the responsibility of safeguarding the peace and security of the areas adjacent to the Amhara and Tigray territories, aided by local communities, until the matter concerning “identity and boundaries” is resolved via a referendum.

In a recent statement regarding ongoing events, Legesse Tulu, Legesse Tulu, Minister of Government Communication Services, expressed that the recent activities originating from the Tigray region in the bordering areas of the Amhara region are deemed “not only inappropriate but also violate the Pretoria agreement.”

Legesse stressed that resorting to the use of force to delineate boundaries, rather than seeking resolution through dialogue and negotiation, signifies a “failure to learn from past mistakes” and is likely to result in additional harm to the people of Tigray.

Recent developments have witnessed a surge in tensions in the vicinity, marked by violent confrontations that transpired last month in Raya Alamata, located in the South Tigray Zone currently administered by Amhara forces.

Accusations have been exchanged by both parties regarding the instigation of these confrontations.

The Amhara regional administration has scrutinized the recent reaction of the Tigray interim administration regarding the alleged inclusion of specific regions in Amhara’s educational materials, depicting it as an “aggressive” response entailing “threats and a pretext for violence.”

The Tigray interim administration had voiced apprehensions regarding the purported endeavors of the Amhara regional government to assert ownership over specific territories within “educational curricula and maps.”

Legesse, in an announcement, conveyed the federal government’s intention to address the “question of identity and boundaries” through a referendum, emphasizing that any alternative approach “may appear advantageous in the short term but lacks sustainability.”

Legesse elaborated that a joint committee comprising representatives from the federal government and both regional administrations will persist in overseeing the process.

Furthermore, the spokesperson emphasized the imperative for internally displaced persons (IDPs) to promptly return to their respective villages, underscoring that “local administrations must be established” solely based on “the vote of the local population.”

Legesse declared that once the situation returns to normalcy, the national electoral board will oversee a referendum. He encouraged both regions to “embrace this course of action” and to “place trust in the ENDF deployed in the area.”

Legesse further appealed to the two regions to engage in constructive dialogue to address any issues rather than resorting to issuing accusatory statements.

Conclusively, the spokesperson underscored the necessity for both regions to collaborate in severing “arms trafficking channels” established by “extremist” and “anti-peace elements” with the intent of destabilizing the two regions. AS

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