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Ethiopia: Tigray Rebels Start Handing Heavy Weapons

Ethiopia: Tigray Rebels Start Handing Heavy Weapons
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By Staff, Agencies

As part of an agreement signed more than two months ago to end a grueling conflict in northern Ethiopia, a spokesman for the Tigrayan rebels announced that they have begun handing in their heavy weapons.

The handover in the town of Agulae, about 30km northeast of the regional capital Mekelle, was overseen by a monitoring team comprising members of the two sides and a regional body, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development [IGAD].

The terms of a peace agreement signed on November 2 include disarming rebel forces, restoring federal authority in Tigray and reopening access and communications to the region, which has been cut off since mid-2021.

Fighting broke out in November 2020 when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed deployed the army to arrest Tigrayan leaders who had been challenging his authority for months and whom he accused of attacking federal military bases.

“Tigray has handed over its heavy weapons as part of its commitment to implementing the #Pretoria agreement” that was signed between Ethiopia’s government and Tigrayan rebels, Tigray People’s Liberation Front spokesman Getachew Reda said in a tweet on Wednesday.

“We hope & expect this will go a long way in expediting the full implementation of the agreement.”

A November 12 deal on the implementation of the agreement said the disarmament of heavy Tigrayan weapons would take place at the same time as the withdrawal of foreign and non-federal forces.