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News: Tigray interim president sets out regional territorial integrity, justice, IDPs as priorities as interim administration assume power

Getchew Reda, incoming interim president of Tigray (Photo: Tigray Television)

Addis Abeba – In his first press briefing as president of the Tigray region interim administration, Getachew Reda announced on Friday that the interim administration has officially started its work, noting that the interim administration’s primary objective is to protect territorial integrity and existence of Tigray for which the people of Tigray paid ultimate sacrifices. 

He said several provinces of Tigray are still under the occupation of the Eritrean and Amhara forces, and emphasized that completing the withdrawal from the region of the Eritrean army and Amhara militants, and stopping the ongoing crimes being committed on civilians in the occupied areas is the responsibility of the federal government. 

“West Tigray, South Tigray, North-West Tigray should be restored and if there is a question, it should be resolved only through the constitution,”  Getachew said, adding that, “I would like to entrust the security forces of the Amhara region to understand this and refrain from activities that hinder the peace process that”.

He noted that “despite its many flaws”, the peace that has been negotiated between the federal government and the Tigrayan authorities “must not be reversed, stopped or hindered”.

He also underlined that the IDPs displaced from areas still under the occupation of Eritrean and Amhara forces must return to their homes immediately, and that there is still much work that needs to be done in that regard. 

Speaking to regional DW after the presser, about delivering justice to the victims of the two years war Getachew said unless the question of justice is addressed properly, peace and political solution can not be fully and permanently ensured.

He noted the incapability of the national justice system to deliver justice to the victims of crimes committed during the Tigray war, citing as an example the impossibility of ensuring accountability through the national justice system for the crimes committed by Eritrean troops.

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Getachew emphasized the need to have reconciliation and healing through transitional justice at the national level, but reiterated that wouldn’t be sufficient to ensure justice and accountability for the crimes committed in Tigray.

On 17 March, Getachew Reda, member of the TPLF’s Executive Committee was elected to lead the interim administration of the regional state, with 18 votes out of the 41 members of the TPLF’s central Committee.

On Thursday the Office Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ahmed said PM Abiy has “appointed” Getachew Reda as head of the Interim Regional Administration (IRA) of Tigray regional state.

According to the PM’s office, the council of Ministers met on Saturday 18 March and enacted a guideline to establish “Inclusive Interim Regional Administration of Tigray”, adding that PM Abiy’s decision to appoint Getachew to lead Tigray region’s interim administration was based on the provision of the guideline article 3(2).

PM Abiy’s announcement today followed yesterday’s decision by the Ethiopian House of Peoples Representatives (HoPR) to de-list the TPLF from its terrorist designation list. The decision was approved by a majority vote, 61 against, and five abstentions. AS

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