Senior commanders from the Federal Government of Ethiopia and senior representatives of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have agreed on the modalities to be used in evaluating the implementation of the peace deal signed in early November to end two years of war in the country's north.
This paves way for the African Union-led team to, in a few days, start monitoring and evaluating the agreement signed in South Africa.
This was revealed by the AU high level panel member and co-facilitator of the ongoing peace efforts, former Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, in a media briefing in Nairobi where the Ethiopian military officials from the federal government have been meeting with TPLF representatives for the last two days as part of the negotiations.
“They have agreed to give the AU team full access to ensure that all the key elements of the agreement are actually being implemented on the ground. I am confident that some of the challenges that may be there will be addressed as there has been full commitment by both parties,” said Mr Kenyatta.
Mr Kenyatta is leading the efforts alongside the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa and former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, member of the AU panel of the wise who is former deputy president of South Africa.
Part of the peace agreement signed was that both parties end their hostilities, all foreign forces leave Tigray region, a resumption of essential public services like banking, telephone and water as well as both to allow ease of access to humanitarian aid to kick off immediately.
Mr Kenyatta said the meeting in Mekelle will verify compliance with these actions.
“Documents are one thing, what we want now are the deliverables and this is why we are heading to Mekelle and I must say that the cordial working relationship between the senior military commanders who have been meeting and senior representatives of the two parties has been admirable and we are confident that we are marching in the right direction,” said Mr Kenyatta.
The parties did not make an appearance at the briefing but Mr Kenyatta said that they will have an opportunity to issue an open statement on the progress of the implementation of the agreement in Mekelle.
“We are very happy and grateful to both parties who have been at the centre of the negotiations for the last few months. We are making tremendous progress and today is another plus day where they have agreed to a series of actions and activities all aimed at bringing back a state of normalcy in Tigray and a state of peace in Ethiopia,” he added.
The meeting also discussed the implementation of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration Process.
Mr Kenyatta said the team’s hope is to have Ethiopia enjoy Christmas and new year 2023 in peace and with a great deal of hope regarding the future of the nation and its citizens.
Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have lost their lives in the two-year war and millions others displaced, some fleeing into neighboring Sudan as others were left in dire need of humanitarian aid.
Atrocities committed by both parties during the two-year war including the killing of aid workers have been documented by various human rights agencies in their call for justice for the victims.