The Tigray People’s Liberation Front demands a complete retreat of Eritrean troops and fighters from the Amhara state in Ethiopia.
The rebel leadership of the Tigray region in Ethiopia has demanded a full retreat of Eritrean troops and fighters from the neighboring Ethiopian state of Amhara before it can engage in any discussions with the federal government over a ceasefire.
The development came in a statement released Sunday by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional authority expelled last year by Ethiopian forces and troops from neighboring Eritrea.
The TPLF returned to the region’s capital, Mekelle, on Monday to cheered the crowd. His return was followed by a unilateral statement to cease fire by the federal government, a move dismissed by TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda as a “joke”.
Sunday’s statement says the TPLF will accept a ceasefire in principle if there are ironic guarantees of no further invasion, but a number of other conditions would need to be met before any agreement can be formalized.
“Invasive forces from Amhara and Eritrea must withdraw from Tigray and return to their pre-war territories,” he said.
Rebel authorities also call for “procedures” to hold Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to account for “the damage they have caused”, as well as the creation by the UN of an independent investigative body. to probe the “Horrible Crimes” committed during the conflict.
Other conditions are humanitarian, including the distribution of aid and the safe return to Tigray of displaced people.
There was no immediate comment from the prime minister’s spokeswoman and the chairman of the government task force set up to coordinate the security operation in Tigray.
Legitimize the TPLF
Catherine Soi of Al Jazeera, who reports from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, said one of the less pleasant conditions was the restoration of what Addis Ababa considers the rebel government in Tigray.
“We have not heard from the Ethiopian government … it will be difficult to accept some of these demands. For example, legitimizing the TPLF as Tigray’s government, the [central] the government will admit defeat, ”he said.
“But some analysts we’ve talked to say that maybe this is a small window for the beginning of a political dialogue.”
The TPLF dominated the central government for decades before Abiy came to power in 2018.
His government has been fighting the TPLF since late last year after it was accused of attacking military bases in Tigray. Thousands were killed.
More than 400,000 people in the region are currently facing famine and there is a risk of more clashes in the region despite the unilateral ceasefire by the federal government, the UN warned Friday.