TPLF starts handing over heavy weapons to Ethiopian government
ADDIS ABABA - As part of complying with the Pretoria and Nairobi peace accords, Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF] has confirmed surrendering heavy weapons that her fighters used during the two-year civil war which ravaged the federal republic of Ethiopia causing an international uproar.
In November 2022, all the warring parties agreed to embrace a ceasefire besides pledging to commit themselves to a peaceful process that would see Tigray fighters disarmed by their counterparts from the federal government. In return, the Ethiopian government committed to the restoration of services in Tigray.
And in a statement, Tigray People's Liberation Front spokesperson Getachew Reda confirmed that the region has complied with the agreement, noting that many sophisticated weapons have since been handed over to the central government as part of the nation-building process.
"Tigray has handed over its heavy weapons as part of its commitment to implementing the Pretoria agreement, and the Monitoring and Verification Team has confirmed it," Reda said, in what gives a new lease of hope in the troubled country which has been home to chaos for the last two years.
"We hope and expect this will go a long way in expediting the full implementation of the agreement. We hope and expect," added Reda, the man who was instrumental in the agreement, having represented the disgruntled northern region of the Horn of Africa nation.
Besides the restoration of basic services such as banking, electricity, telecommunication, and humanitarian access to Tigray, the Ethiopian government also agreed to facilitate the immediate withdrawal and disengagement of Eritrean troops from northern and western parts of Tigray.
Although there has been significant progress in the implementation of the agreement, TPLF alleged that there was still the presence of Eritrean troops and Amhara regional militia in parts of Tigray which it insisted would sabotage the restoration of peace in the country.
But the government has insisted that it is committed to the implementation of the deal, noting that it has restored airline services to the Tigray region after two years of suspension. Last week, Ethiopian Airlines made the first-ever flight to Mekelle, the regional administrative capital of Tigray in two years.
The war in the Tigray region left thousands of people dead and millions displaced according to the United Nations but official figures are yet to be released. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was widely condemned for failing to stamp authority when the signs of the political conflict first manifested themselves.