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Ethiopia: a month after a peace agreement, the rebels say they have disengaged 65% of their fighters from the front lines in Tigray

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A month after the signing of a peace agreement between the rebels and the Ethiopian federal government, around 65% of the rebel fighters have been “disengaged” front lines in the Tigray region, announced the commander-in-chief of the rebel forces, Tadesse Worede, on Saturday December 3. “We have started the disengagement and relocation of our forces from the front lines, it is going well”assured the press Mr. Worede.

However, the commander mentioned the presence of “forces in the region who do not want peace and are obstacles to peace”in reference to the Eritrean army and the regional forces and militias of the Amhara region, which supported the Ethiopian army in the conflict which began in November 2020.

“The problems they create and the abuse they commit on the population are not secret, so we have taken a break in some places” in disengagement operations, to prevent them “continue their atrocities on the population”, he added. Once these threats have been removed, ” we’ll do [un désengagement] 100 % “, he assured. General Tadesse also said that the Tigrayan rebels had started collecting [leurs] heavy weapons and collect them in one place”.

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One of the deadliest conflicts in the world

Tigrayan rebels and the Ethiopian government signed a peace agreement on November 2 in Pretoria to end two years of conflict that has ravaged northern Ethiopia. This agreement provides in particular for the disarmament of the rebel forces, the restoration of federal authority in Tigray and the reopening of access to this region plunged into a catastrophic humanitarian situation. According to a document relating to the application of the agreement signed on November 12 in Nairobi, “the disarmament of heavy weapons [tigréennes] will be done simultaneously with the withdrawal of foreign and non-federal forces”.

The conflict in Tigray began in November 2020 when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the federal army there to arrest leaders in the region, who had challenged his authority for months and whom he accused of attacking bases. federal soldiers on the spot. Initially defeated, Tigray rebel forces regained control of most of the region later in 2021, in a counter-offensive that spilled over into Amhara and Afar and saw them approach Addis -Ababa. The rebels then retreated towards Tigray.

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The outcome of this conflict marked by countless abuses, which took place largely behind closed doors, is unknown. But the International Crisis Group (ICG) and Amnesty International describe it as “one of the deadliest in the world”. The war has also displaced more than two million Ethiopians and plunged hundreds of thousands into near-famine conditions, according to the United Nations (UN).

The World with AFP