Amanuel Assefa. Photo: Tigray TV/Archive 2020
Addis Abeba – The Interim Administration of Tigray Regional State has requested an immediate kick start of a political dialogue with the federal government of Ethiopia in accordance with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in South Africa, Pretoria in November 2022, which resulted in silencing the guns after two years of devastating war.
Amanuel Assefa, head of the office the Tigray Interim Administration, told Voice of America yesterday that Tigray region has repeatedly submitted a request to the international peace negotiation partners, including the African Union negotiating team, to begin the political dialogue and was waiting for the response. The main issue is to identify the reasons that led the two sides to the war and resolve them through dialogue, Amanuel said, adding that such political dialogue will help identify and discuss issues such as “the cause of the war, the reasons for the destruction and the solution for the problem.”
In the joint statement the two sides released following the Pretoria talks, they have agreed to take “transitional measures that include the restoration of Constitutional order in the Tigray region, a framework for the settlement of political differences, and a Transitional Justice Policy framework to ensure accountability, truth, reconciliation, and healing.”
Amanuel said that as of now, the people of Tigray do not have access to “full budget” support and other constitutional rights that can only be solved by kick starting the political dialogue immediately. It is also important to sustain the peace and to enable the people of Tigray solve and cope with the countless problems they are forced to endure.
The request from the interim administration of Tigray region, led by Getachew Reda, came the same week when decisions made by the Central Committee of Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) highlighted the need for the immediate kick start of political dialogue to ensure the full implementation of the Pretoria agreement.
“We call for the unwavering implementation of the Pretoria Agreement and the immediate return of our displaced people to their homes in accordance with the Ethiopian Constitution,” the TPLF Central Committee said, adding that the party “reaffirms its readiness to work together to overcome the obstacles encountered in implementing [the agreement].”
Despite the near year long peace agreement, hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced from Western and Southern parts of Tigray which are still occupied by Amhara forces, remain in IDP camps in different parts of Tigray amidst dire situations.
Similarly, Eritrean forces, who recently expanded their occupations into more areas, continued committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in the areas they occupy well after the Pretoria agreement was signed. AS
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