Authorities in Ethiopian rebel-held Tigray say ceasefire respected

Authorities in Ethiopia’s rebel-held Tigray region said on Sunday they would respect the ceasefire as fighting escalated in the war-torn north of the country, with the African Union calling for an immediate ceasefire.

International concerns are growing over the fate of the Shire, a city of 100,000 people in northwestern Tigray, where Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have launched a joint offensive and civilian casualties have been reported.

The government of Ethiopia, led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Tiglayan officials accepted the AU’s invitation to talks, but negotiations scheduled for last weekend in South Africa did not materialize and no new dates have been announced.

“The chairman urges an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to areas cut off by fighting and the resumption of humanitarian aid operations,” Faki said in a statement dated Saturday, released on Sunday.

“We are ready to comply with an immediate cessation of hostilities,” their statement read.

A spokesman for the Ethiopian government did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by AFP.

International alarm over the recent fighting was raised as US Special Envoy Mike Hammer arrived in Addis Ababa to call for a peaceful resolution to the nearly two-year war.

The US State Department’s Office for Africa posted on Twitter on Sunday that it will “commence an AU-led peace process in the coming days, working intensively with the African Union and other partners.”

Diplomats suggested that logistical problems were partly why last weekend’s long-awaited meeting in South Africa was not held.

The International Rescue Commission (IRC), which delivers relief supplies to Tigre, said on Saturday that one of the three civilians killed in the attack in the Shire was a staff member and another was injured. announced.

“WFP condemns the deliberate targeting of humanitarian operations” and calls on all sides to respect international law, a WFP spokesman for Ethiopia told AFP.

– “Indiscriminate attack” –

“The recent indiscriminate attacks by the Ethiopian and Eritrean Defense Forces in the Shire and reports that the Eritrean military may soon take control of civilian population centers are of grave concern,” Power tweeted on Sunday. wrote to

Eritrea is a historic enemy of the TPLF, which controlled Ethiopia’s ruling coalition until Abiy came to power in 2018, and the force has been accused of gang rapes and murders in Tigray.

Eritrea says it has been “scapegoated” and accuses the US and others of turning a blind eye to TPLF atrocities.

first published as Authorities in Ethiopian rebel-held Tigray say ceasefire respected

Authorities in Ethiopian rebel-held Tigray say ceasefire respected

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