African Union Monitoring Team Visits Ethiopia’s Tigray to Oversee Cease-Fire

East African and African Union officials arrived in the Tigray region of Ethiopia to launch a joint monitoring and verification mechanism for a peace deal signed in November to end the two-year war.

The mediating team, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, as well as African Union representatives and diplomats from various countries, arrived Thursday in Mekele, the Tigray region’s capital.

The team that helped broker a peace deal between Ethiopia’s federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in South Africa is keeping an eye on the cease-fire’s progress.

The warring factions have agreed to a joint African Union monitoring team to ensure that the peace agreement is being implemented and that no cease-fire violations are occurring.

The visiting delegation was welcomed by Tigray region president Debretsion Gebremichael and will be monitoring the full implementation of the peace agreement.

The agreement calls for the restoration of all services, the provision of adequate aid to the needy population, the disarmament of rebel groups, and the withdrawal of foreign forces and other militia groups from the region.

The delegation’s visit comes as the Tigray rebel group prepares to disarm and surrender the region to the federal government. The Tigray rebel group is hesitant to accept the move because they accuse Eritrean troops of attacking the population and obstructing humanitarian aid, as well as the presence of militias from the Amhara and Afar regions.

The government restored telecommunication services to more towns this week, and Ethiopian Airlines flew to Mekele for the first time in nearly two years on Wednesday, allowing families to reconnect.

Source: Voice of America