The Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have agreed to permanently end hostilities, in a significant step toward ending the grinding war that has seen thousands of people killed, millions displaced, and millions more left in urgent need of food assistance.
The two sides said on Wednesday evening that they would “permanently silence the guns and end the two years of conflict in northern Ethiopia” in a joint statement published after delegates shook hands.
Ethiopia’s Tigray rebels will eventually be disarmed and demobilized, according to the statement. “We have also agreed on a detailed program of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration for the TPLF combatants, taking into account the security situation on the ground,” it read.
The deal was first announced by African Union (AU) High Representative for the Horn of Africa and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, in a media briefing following AU-led negotiations in Pretoria which lasted over a week.
There will be a “systematic, orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament, restoration of services, unhindered access to humanitarian supplies, protection of civilians, especially women children and other vulnerable groups,” Obasanjo said.
An AU high-level partner will be tasked with “monitoring, supervising and implementation,” he added, without providing more details.
“This is not the end of the peace process but the beginning of it,” Obasanjo said.