May 28, 2024

Ethiopia and Tigray agree to a permanent cessation of hostilities, says mediator Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Nigerian President
Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Nigerian President

Ethiopia and Tigray have agreed to a permanent cessation of hostilities, an orderly disarmament and unhindered humanitarian access, African Union mediator Olusegun Obasanjo said on Wednesday.

At the first briefing since the talks began more than a week ago in South Africa to bring the two-year long war to an end, Obasanjo said that Ethiopia’s government and Tigray authorities have also agreed on an “orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament.” In addition, they have agreed on the “restoration of law and order.”

The lead negotiator for Tigray, Getachew Reda, said that “painful concessions” had to be made while the lead negotiator for the Ethiopian federal government Redwan Hussein described the level of destruction caused by the war as “immense.”

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya who helped facilitate the talks warned that the “The devil will be in the implementation.”

The humanitarian access to Tigray, which has affected nearly six million people there for more than 20 months, if respected, would be a welcome development, as it will free up resources for the people in Tigray.

The White House also commented on the agreement during a press briefing in Washington DC. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made the comments when asked for a reaction by Today News Africa.

She said that the United States commends the African Union for its leadership on the talks as well as other partners, including the European Union.

Jean-Pierre added that the United States remains committed to supporting the AU-led peace efforts for Ethiopia.

Many hope that the peace agreement will be implemented to bring about peace and security in Africa’s second most populous nation where thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced, even as a devastating humanitarian blockade has remained into place.

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