A truce has been signed by the Ethiopian government and Tigray forces to end the conflict in the northern Tigrayan region. The two sides agreed to the cessation of hostilities and a disarmament plan following talks between them in South Africa, African Union chief mediator Olusegun Obasanjo announced on Wednesday.
BBC reports that between 385,000 and 600,000 civilians were killed during the two-year conflict in Tigray largely due to fighting, famine, and inadequate healthcare.
This August, fighting erupted between government forces and Tigrayan rebels in northern Ethiopia, ending a five-month truce between the warring sides. Both blamed the other for not making progress in negotiations.
On Wednesday, Obasanjo said he was pleased with the peace agreement signed by both sides. “I visited Tigray region eight times. We see in today’s peace signing agreement a silencing of the guns,” he said, according to BBC.
“We have now signed an agreement. We will leave the past behind us. Making peace has proved elusive. Hundreds of thousands have died,” Getachew Reda, who is the spokesman of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), said.
Besides the disarmament plan, both sides also promised humanitarian access. In August, the UN’s World Food Programme said that nearly half the population in Tigray was suffering from a severe lack of food.
The war in northern Ethiopia started in November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the army to Tigray to remove dissident authorities in the region after accusing them of attacking military bases.