Ethiopian and Tigrayan negotiators formally signed a truce on Wednesday after two years of devastating war that has left thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
Both parties agreed to end hostilities, disarm and allow unhindered humanitarian access to Tigray, a region in northern Ethiopia bordering Eritrea.
The full document has not been released yet, but former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo who acted as the African Union mediator announced that “both parties in the Ethiopian conflict have formally agreed to the cessation of hostilities as well as to systematic, orderly smooth and coordinated disarmament, restoration of services, unhindered humanitarian supplies,” and the protection of civilians.
The agreement was praised by both lead negotiators, Redwan Hussein, who is the national security adviser to Ethiopia’s federal government, and Getachew Reda of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
“Our sisters and brothers from Africa remained true to their principled stance that Ethiopia must own and resolve their difference, Redwan Hussein said on live television. He added that he hopes others will learn “such a generous and firm direction.” He said that time has come for Ethiopia to “revitalize relations with our partners.”
Getachew Reda of the TPLF called for the deal to be “immediately implemented,” asserting that fighters and civilians were dying.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya who helped facilitate the talks warned that the “The devil will be in the implementation.”
The war in Ethiopia, which broke out in 2020 following months of worsening relations with the Ethiopian federal government in the South has devastated the nation and destabilized the Horn of Africa.
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 in place in Tigray.