Mediators meet amid a slow truce and when aid workers say Eritrean troops remain.
Mediators between Ethiopia’s federal government and the authorities in the Tigray region, embroiled in a brutal war until last month, are stepping up efforts to enforce a truce as relations between the two side closer to normal.
November 2 cease-fire subsided the conflict lasted two years has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions in the Horn of Africa country, but implementation of parts of the deal has been slower than expected.
Humanitarian workers in Tigray say troops from neighboring Eritrea – which should have withdrawn under the terms of the truce – are still present in some towns there, an area inhabited by millions still hungry and in need of aid.
The Eritrean government has not yet commented.
The issue of Eritrean forces and the restoration of services and humanitarian aid to Tigray is expected to be on the agenda of a monitoring group set up by mediators.
Nuur Mohamud Sheekh, spokesman for the Intergovernmental Authority for Regional Development (IGAD), said mediators were gathering in the Tigray capital, Mekelle.
After more than a month of delay, a joint monitoring and verification team consisting of representatives of the government, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and IGAD was appointed, the national security adviser to the Redwan government. Hussien told Reuters.
Tigrayan leaders have complained about delays in setting up a monitoring team and implementing other provisions of the truce.
Federal police said their officers entered Mekelle and commenced operations to protect federal institutions such as banks, airports, electrical and telecommunications infrastructure, in accordance with the provisions of the federal law. truce agreement.
Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the regional TPLF, did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines is state-owned resumption of flights on Wednesday to Mekelle, for the first time in 18 months. Ethio Telecom has reconnected its services to Mekelle and 27 other towns, while the government says humanitarian aid is being ramped up.
“We welcome the signing and launch of the African Union Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (AU-MVCM) in Mekele, another important step towards ensuring lasting peace for the peoples of the region. northern Ethiopia,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. written statement issued on Thursday.
“The United States stands ready to support the AU-MVCM and fully implement the cessation of hostilities (COHA), including disarming Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters, withdrawing Eritrean forces , unimpeded humanitarian access, resumption of essential activities. Blinken said.