In our newsletter yesterday November 2, 2022, we reported that it appears that there was still a long way to go before peace was achieved in the Horn of Africa. Well, the long-lost peace has eventually found its way sooner than anticipated.
What do you mean?
Representatives of the Ethiopian government and leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, TPLF, a secessionist group from the country’s northern Tigray region has agreed to a cease-fire deal; after several weeks of negotiations and peace talks. The peace agreement, if honoured by both parties, would bring an end to hostilities and gun battles in the two-year civil war which has resulted in the loss of lives and properties in northern Ethiopia.
Announcing the news of the successful signing of the peace agreement in Pretoria, South Africa, Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, congratulated both parties for agreeing to a “cessation of hostilities, disarmament, as well as restoring humanitarian access to the country’s northern region”.
Obasanjo, who’s been the African Union Special Envoy leading the negotiations for about two years now, described the deal as the beginning of peace in Northern Ethiopia.
“The two parties in the Ethiopia conflict have formally agreed to cease hostilities. This moment is not the end of the peace process but the beginning of it” Obasanjo said.
Commenting on the success of the peace deal, United Nations spokesman, Stephane Dujarric described the ceasefire as a “welcome first step”, adding that the UN hopes “it can bring some solace to the millions of Ethiopian civilians who really suffered during the conflict”.
It’s time for healing and reconciliations
Although neither side of the warring parties has confirmed casualty figures, reports indicate that hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom are civilians have died as a result of the conflict.
Humanitarian aid was largely blocked from reaching the Tigray region during the conflict. United Nations estimates more than 5.2 million people in that region are dealing with extreme food insecurity and lack of access to medicine and other vital resources. The peace agreement is, therefore, expected to allow for the rebuilding of the devastated region.
In a statement issued after the signing of the ceasefire documents, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said “…our commitment to peace remains steadfast. And our commitment to collaborating for the implementation of the agreement is equally strong”.