An Ethiopian delegation on its way to Mekele, the rebel-held Tigray region's capital, is the "first of its stature as a high-level federal government group coming to Mekele in two years," according to a statement.
Ethiopia claims a government delegation is on its way to the rebel-held Tigray province
According to a statement, the Ethiopian delegation was led by House of Representatives Speaker Tagesse Chafo.
On Monday, a high-level Ethiopian delegation was on its way to the capital of the rebel-held Tigray province for talks on executing a peace pact that had been in place for over two years.
To ensure that all parties uphold the November peace accord that ended the horrible conflict, Addis Abeba and the rebel forces in Tigray have agreed to establish a joint monitoring committee.
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The agreement included a provision to develop a monitoring and compliance system so that both parties could be confident that the truce was being followed and any violations were being addressed.
Thousands have been killed in Tigray's bloodbath during the last two years. The group, led by House of Representatives speaker Tagesse Chafo, was described as "the first of its stature as a high-level federal government body to head to Mekele in two years" in a statement.
The agreement demands that rebel troops disarm, that federal rule in Tigray be reinstated, and that border crossing into the province be reopened. "This gesture is an affirmation that the peace accord is on the right road and moving forward," the statement stated.
However, casualties vary widely, with the US claiming up to 500,000 people have died. In contrast, the European Union's senior diplomat, Josep Borrell, claims that more than 100,000 people have been killed.
The battle began in November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed dispatched troops into Tigray after accusing the region's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacking army outposts.
UN inspectors have accused all parties to the conflict of suspected war crimes, and the US has warned that ethnic cleansing may have happened in western Tigray.
However, since the peace agreement was completed in November, aid has begun to flow back into Tigray, helping to alleviate severe food, fuel, currency, and pharmaceutical shortages.
However, six million people remain primarily without electricity and phone lines, and internet and banking services have just been partially restored.
Pro-government forces, notably troops from Eritrea to the north and militias from Ethiopia's Amhara region, are not named in the peace agreement but remain in Tigray and have been accused of human rights violations.