Tigrayan troops say they are withdrawing from Ethiopia’s Afar region


The conflict in northern Ethiopia broke out in Tigray in November 2020 between the TPLF and the forces of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s central government and spilled over into neighboring regions. The TPFL expanded to Afar last year.

The spokesman, Getachew Reda, said the Ethiopian government and regional authorities were using the TPLF’s presence in Afar as an excuse to block humanitarian aid there and other neighboring regions, an allegation they deny.

“Now that that excuse is gone, we can expect humanitarian needs to be met,” Reda said.

Regional Police Commissioner Ahmed Harif said Tigrayan forces had withdrawn from the town of Abala in Afar but were still in three of the regions, Reuters reported.

Fighting in northern Ethiopia has abated since the federal government declared a unilateral ceasefire last month and said it would allow humanitarian aid.

Tigrayan forces said they would respect the ceasefire as long as sufficient aid is delivered to their region “within a reasonable time.”

As for Tigray, only a trickle of help has come in. About 90% of the population has been in need of food aid since the Ethiopian army withdrew at the end of June after months of bloody clashes.

Since its inception, the conflict has killed thousands and displaced millions as it spread to neighboring areas.

CNN has reached out to Ethiopian government officials for comment.

The United Nations has blamed bureaucracy and insecurity for blocking convoys, saying it takes at least 100 trucks of relief supplies every day to enter Tigray.

Since the ceasefire, only 144 trucks have arrived, with the last 74 arriving Monday, according to the United Nations World Food Programme.

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