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News: Interim president accuses Eritrean forces of blocking AU monitoring mission in Tigray

Getachew Reda, Interim president of Tigray region, (Photo: Tigray Television)

Addis Abeba – The interim president of Tigray region, Getachew Reda, has said the Eritrean forces who have still occupied parts of Tigray are obstructing the African Union appointed Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (MVCM) from carrying out its work within the region.

“Last week, the Eritrean forces prevented the monitoring team from carrying out its activities within Tigray,” Getachew said in a video shared on Facebook by regional broadcaster Tigray Television reported.

Getachew said this on Friday, 19 May during a discussion on the implementation of the peace agreement with military attachés from various countries in the capital Mekelle, according to Tigray Television.

The president called on the international community to put pressure on the Eritrean forces “to ensure that the invading forces leave Tigray land completely and that the displaced people return to their villages”.

He stated that the government of Tigray is fulfilling its obligations stated in the peace agreement, and stressed that the international community should contribute to the speedy implementation of the agreement by both sides.

Major General Stephen Radina, the head of the AU MVCM noted on the discussion that the Tigray combatants have handed over their heavy weapons in accordance with the Pretoria Agreement, adding that the MVCM team will travel to western and southern Tigray in the coming June to monitor the presence of forces other than the Ethiopian Defense Forces.

Representatives of the AU and the Ethiopian Defense Forces reiterated their commitment to the continued implementation of the peace agreement, and contribute to the efforts of rebuilding Tigray’s institutions that were destroyed due to the war.

The African Union appointed Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (MVCM) team announced on 10 January, the launch of the disarmament process of Tigrayan combatants as Tigrayan forces handed over heavy weapons to the Ethiopian National Defense Forces.

The AU-MVCM was officially launched in Mekelle, on 29 December however did not officially comment on the withdrawal of “foreign” and “non-ENDF forces” together with the handing over of the heavy weapons. AS

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