Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, told parliament on Tuesday that the ceasefire agreement between his government and forces in Tigray would be implemented ‘honestly’.
The two sides signed a further deal in Kenya on Saturday on the full implementation of the truce reached between the warring sides some 2 weeks ago in South Africa.
‘We took the first step. We have discussed, agreed, and signed. We must keep our word by making our promise to peace a reality,’ he said.
No gain from war
Abiy said there was no such thing as a good war or a bad peace, and that war was always bad even if you were winning.
The prime minister added that the agreement was necessary to ensure that peace in the northern Tigray region would be sustainable.
It is hoped it will bring an end to the brutal two-year conflict which has left thousands dead, millions displaced, and millions of thousands facing famine.
Almost two weeks since the signing of the ceasefire, international aid is yet to reach those in need in the region. Under the agreement signed on Saturday, both sides have pledged to allow aid workers into the region unhindered.
The origins of the conflict are complex. Prime Minister Abiy came to power in April 2018, pledging a raft of political and economic reforms in Ethiopia after almost three decades of government dominated by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
But in November 2020 he sent troops in to topple the TPLF in their regional stronghold after accusing it of attacking federal army camps.
While this new agreement does not address the deeper political tensions that contributed to the conflict, it’s hoped that the truce will hold, and lead to durable and inclusive peace and political stability in the country, for all Ethiopians.