News: Federal gov’t, TPLF reaffirm commitment to Pretoria peace accord during AU-led meeting

The first Strategic Review concerning the Implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) commenced yesterday at the premises of the African Union in Addis Abeba (Photo: AU)

Addis Abeba – Following the convening of the First Strategic Review Meeting by the African Union in Addis Abeba on Monday, 11 March, 2024, the federal government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have restated their “dedication to the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA),” which was signed in November 2022.

The First Strategic Review on the Implementation of the CoHA took place yesterday at the AU premises in Addis Abeba. According to the AU’s Political Affairs Peace and Security Commission, the meeting aimed to “undertake strategic reflection and support critical aspects of the Ethiopian Peace Process, such as humanitarian support, DDR, rehabilitation and reconstruction.” 

The African Union said in a statement after the meeting that the two parties agreed “to hold multifaceted consultations to advance peace, security, and stability in the Tigray region” and “to consult regularly.”

“They also decided to consult regularly and to convene in a similar format within the next few months.”

While acknowledging “the progress made,” the parties identified “areas requiring additional joint efforts towards fully implementing the CoHA,” per the statement.

…durable and lasting peace in Tigray will not only be a key peace dividend for Ethiopia but also for the Horn of African region

Moussa Faki Mahamat

Earlier, Chairperson of the AUC, Moussa Faki Mahamat said the meeting was “an important and timely opportunity for strategic reflection to take stock of the continued challenges and outstanding issues that remain to be resolved. It is therefore, you the Parties, who are best placed to point out the outstanding issues and how they can best be resolved.”

However, the Chairperson cautioned that despite the “undeniable achievements made so far, the process of political dialogue, transitional justice and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration are among the important issues that need your urgent attention.”

The Chairperson further acknowledged that “durable and lasting peace in Tigray will not only be a key peace dividend for Ethiopia but also for the Horn of African region,” and urged the parties “to stay the course as we have reached a crucial point of this process, to be able to consolidate the key gains made so far.”

The meeting brought together representatives from the Ethiopian federal government, the Interim Administration of Tigray/TPLF, and observers from the UN, EU, IGAD, United States, and the African Development Bank. It was facilitated by the AU High-Level Panel for the Ethiopian Peace Process.

The strategic review comes at a critical stage when differences between the federal government and the Tigray interim administration are widening over unmet CoHA obligations. These include the unresolved status of western and parts of southern Tigray that are still occupied by Amhara regional forces affiliated with the government, the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from northeastern parts of Tigray, and the delay in IDP returns.

Ahead of the meeting, U.S. Special Envoy Mike Hammer stressed that both sides “must deliver on their commitments,” especially for DDR, IDP returns, transitional justice, and accountability to achieve lasting peace. AS

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