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News: Tigray interim admin says timeline to solve southern, western Tigray impasse agreed with federal gov, army

Lt. General Tadesse Werede. Photo: Dimtsi Woyane

Addis Abeba – The Tigray Interim Administration Vice President, Lt. General Tadesse Werede told local media in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray region, today that an agreement was reached with the federal government and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) on the timeline to address the impasse in southern and western Tigray zones and return the internally displaced civilians according to the Pretoria agreement of November 2022.

Lt. General Tadesse said the agreement on the timeline was reached after a two-day discussion between the two sides. Accordingly, it was agreed that the impasse in parts of the Southern Tigray zone, and Tselemti, in the northwestern Zone of Tigray, will be solved by the first week of June this year.

Similarly, the impasses in the Western Tigray zone will be solved by the first week of July this year. The General said the two sides have agreed on details including who will be disarmed, how will it be conducted, which administrative structures will be disbanded, as well as the details on the process of ensuring the safe and dignified return of the displaced persons to their homes.

The implementation of the plan will involve the Monitoring, Verification, and Compliance Mission (MVCM) of the African Union, Let. Gen. Tadesse said.

He criticized as wrong, and urged restraint against the recent “pervasive narrative” created by reports dividing the leadership of Tigray between those seeking peace and those seeking war, and propagating differences in the implementation of the Pretoria agreement.

According to him, in the Tigray region, the conditions for the implementation of the Pretoria Agreement and its implementation plans have been communicated throughout the regional state’s administrative structures and administrative preparations are underway. He urged the federal government to follow suit and communicate the process to bring down the implementation plans to the lower-level administrative structures.

Although the full implementation of the Pretoria agreement is not expected to go smoothly, no circumstance invites conflict based on the current situation on the ground, he said.

Last week, the UNOCHA said some 50, 000 civilians were displaced from Alamata and surrounding areas in Southern Tigray into several bordering localities in the northern Amhara regional state after recent reports of instability.

Tensions rose in the last few weeks following attempts by the federal government to dismantle local administrations established in the Southern Tigray zone after these areas were controlled by armed forces from the neighboring Amhara region following the outbreak of the November 2020 war in the Tigray region.

Echoing similar calls from the international community for calm, AU’s Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said on 26 April that he was “following with deep concern the escalating tensions between local communities” and appealed for “the respect and full implementation” of the Pretoria agreement. AS

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