Ethiopian government and Tigray troops establish hotline after ceasefire


The AU’s chief facilitator, Olusegun Obasanjo, made the disclosure as the two sides meet in Kenya to discuss the implementation of the ceasefire.

The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces have set up a telephone hotline after a ceasefire last week, Olusegun Obasanjo, the African Union’s chief mediator, said Monday as the two sides meet in Kenya to discuss the implementation of the cease-fire. fire.

On November 2, the federal government and Tigray’s regional forces approved the cessation of hostilities, a two-year diplomatic breakthrough in a war that left thousands dead and millions displaced.

The ceasefire has raised hopes that humanitarian aid can begin to return to a region where hundreds of thousands are facing starvation.

Representatives of the Ethiopian government and troops from Tigray are in Kenya’s capital Nairobi to discuss how to implement the ceasefire, and talks are expected to last three or four days.

“The first sign to me of the progress after the agreement was signed is the fact that they have exchanged a hotline between them,” Obasanjo told a news conference in Nairobi.

According to an official familiar with the talks, the hotline will address any flare-up of fighting and coordinate withdrawals, with both sides “recognizing the challenge of fully communicating with all their units to stop fighting”.

In a press release, the AU said the expected results of the meeting “include modalities for silencing the weapons, humanitarian access and restoring services in the Tigray region”.

Implementing the ceasefire will be difficult given concerns over ongoing fighting on the ground, unresolved political and territorial disputes and the ambitious disarmament timetable.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that dominates the region, pledged to completely disarm their fighters within 30 days under the agreement.

Officials also want to agree to join an African Union-led panel of experts to monitor, verify and comply with the ceasefire this week, the source familiar with the talks told Reuters.

Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, a co-mediator in the talks, said he hoped the parties could work together to find a permanent solution to the problem.

“We started in Pretoria, we are getting closer and closer. We are now in Nairobi, we are hopeful that next time we will be in Mekelle for our [next] meet and finally celebrate together in Addis Ababa,” Kenyatta said, referring to the capitals of South Africa, the Tigray region and Ethiopia respectively.

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