Commercial Bank of Ethiopia said it has reopened branches in Shire, Alamata and Korem after more than a year of closure.
The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia says it has resumed financial services in several towns in the war-torn Tigray region, giving residents access to their funds after a shutdown lasting more than a year. five.
Notice on Monday after signing a peace agreement between the federal government and Tigraan rebels last month, aimed at ending the brutal two-year conflict and humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia.
“Following the recently reached peace agreement, the branches (CBEs) that we have in the cities of Shire, Alamata and Korem have started accepting deposits from abroad and domestically as well as sending money,” the bank said. largest in the country said in a statement. statement.
“Our bank has been forced to suspend its banking services because of unrest in the north of the country,” the statement said.
“As conditions permit, we will continue our efforts to expand our services and gradually restart service in all branches.”
Access to northern Ethiopia is severely limited and Tigray has been out of contact for over a year, making it impossible for journalists to independently verify the situation at the scene.
Since the peace agreement was signed on 2 November in South Africa, fighting between federal troops and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front has ceased, with the TPLF saying that 65 percent its forces have “left the front lines”.
Earlier this month, the country’s electricity operator announced that the capital, Tigray, had been reconnected to the national grid after more than a year of conflict cuts.
The war left Tigray devastated and unable to access basic services including banking, electricity, fuel and communications for more than a year.
humanitarian help has flooded into the north since the agreement but has not yet met the urgent needs of the people.
The death toll from the war is unclear, but the International Crisis Group and Amnesty International think tank have described it as one of the bloodiest wars in the world.
All sides have been accused of abuse, while the United Nations says the conflict has displaced more than two million people and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation.
The peace agreement aims to end hostilities, disarm the Tigrayan fighters, restore power to the federal government and reopen access to the area.
But the agreement does not address the withdrawal of troops from Eritrean forces, who have supported the Ethiopian government in the conflict and have been accused of horrific abuse.
Since the ceasefire was agreed, the TPLF has regularly denounced the Eritrean military for alleged human rights abuses in Tigray.
According to the United Nations World Food Program, more than 13 million people in northern Ethiopia are now dependent on humanitarian aid, including more than 90% of Tigray’s population of 6 million.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to Ethiopia’s northernmost region in November 2020, accusing the TPLF, then the region’s ruling party, of attacking federal army camps.
The TPLF dominated politics in the Horn of Africa country for nearly three decades before Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy took office in 2018.