Addis Abeba – The UK government has pledged funding to support the African Union Monitoring, Verification, and Compliance Mission (MVCM) of the Pretoria Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed between Ethiopian government and the TPLF in November 2023. This funding aims to aid the implementation of the peace Agreement in the Tigray region. Darren Welch, the UK Ambassador to Ethiopia, made this announcement during a visit to Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, yesterday. The delegation was led by Sarah Montgomery, the UK Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.
During an interview with Tigray TV, Ambassador Welch emphasized the importance of the Pretoria Agreement, which calls for the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from all Ethiopian territory, including Tigray. He stated that the UK supports these calls and urges the complete withdrawal of Eritrean forces from its borders.
Getachew Reda, the Interim Administration President of the Tigray region, confirmed on his Twitter page that discussions with the UK delegation covered various topics. Ambassador Welch reiterated the UK’s commitment to the implementation of the Pretoria Agreement and expressed readiness to support peace in Ethiopia and the region. During their visit to Mekelle, the delegation also toured the Ayder Referral Hospital, a prominent medical facility in the region, and the Seba Kare Internal Displaced People (IDP) camp.
The AU-MVCM, launched in December 2022, aligns with Article 11 of the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) signed on 2 November, 2022. Its purpose is to monitor, verify, and ensure compliance with the peace agreement. In July, a report by coalition of regional and international civil society organizations revealed that the monitoring mission works with limited resources impacting the efficiency and transparency of the mission.
In May 2023, the African Union (AU) hosted the second meeting of the MVCM Joint Committee. The committee emphasized the importance of expediting the demobilization and reintegration of Tigray armed combatants. Additionally, the committee aimed to improve the safety and protection of civilians by facilitating the gradual return of internally displaced persons and refugees to the affected areas. These actions align with the peace agreement and subsequent declarations made by senior commanders.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Radina, the leader of MVCM, reported that the disarmament of Tigrayan combatants had reached a completion rate of approximately 85% to 90%. However, he also pointed out that Eritrean forces still occupied certain parts of northern and Northeastern Tigray. Furthermore, Amhara forces remained in control of Western Tigray and various sections of Southern Tigray. AS