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News: Army says Amhara special forces withdraw from Shire, its surroundings in Tigray

General Abebaw Tadesse, ENDF Deputy Chief of Staff with members of Amhara Special Forces. Photo: ENDF

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) said in a statement yesterday that members of the Special Forces from neighboring Amhara region who have been in and around Shire, some 140 km northwest of Tigray’s capital Mekelle, withdrew from the area.

The army said the withdrawal was carried out following the peace agreement reached between the federal government and the leaders of the Tigray region in South Africa and Kenya.

It comes in the wake of the announcement on 10 January by the African Union appointed Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (MVCM) team of the disarmament process of Tigrayan combatants and subsequent action by Tigrayan forces to hand over heavy weapons to the national army.

The Amhara Special Forces were inspected and seen off in the presence of General Abebaw Tadesse, ENDF Deputy Chief of Staff, who said the forces were departing the area according to orders from the government based on the peace agreement.

However, unlike the disarmament and subsequent handing over of heavy weapons by Tigrayan combatants on 10 January, the information on the withdrawal of the Amhara Special Forces hasn’t yet been shared by the AU Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (MVCM).

the Executive Declaration on the Modalities for the Implementation of the Pretoria agreement, which was signed in Nairobi on 12 November, article 2.1/D, which stated that “disarmament of heavy weapons will be done concurrently with the withdrawal of foreign and non-ENDF forces from the region.”

The African Union Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mechanism (AU-MVCM) was officially launched in Mekelle on 29 December with Major General Stephen Radina from Kenya appointed to lead the mission alongside Colonel Rufai Umar Mairiga of Nigeria and Colonel Teffo Sekole of South Africa. AS

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