Peace negotiations (per 07 November)

  • Under the auspices of the African Union, a new round of talks began today on 7 November on the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the Government of Ethiopia and Tigray leadership.
  • The meeting held in Nairobi includes TDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Tadesse Worede and ENDF Chief of Staff Field Marshall Berhanu Jula. 
  • The purpose of the meeting is to work out the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed in South Africa. Reported that former Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, has arrived at Moran Centre in Karen.
  • In a briefing by Amb. Redwan, the chief negotiator for the Federal Government of Ethiopia, to international diplomats on the Agreement, emphasised the importance of direct contact between the military leaders to allow swift follow up on the implementation of the agreement.
  • Redwan referred in the briefing to a third party, which he said “may not be interested in this peace process”, which violated the territorial integrity of Ethiopia. This could be a reference to Eritrea.
  • Redwan explained that the demobilisation is related to TPLF party structure, and that the regions including Tigray have military forces under the regional government, including TDF.
  • Redwan stated that the elections held in Tigray in 2020 were not validated by the Ethiopian National Election Board and therefore new elections under the constitution should be held and all political parties registered would be able to participate.
  • Redwan expressed regret for the destruction caused by the war, and mentioned that the two sides had met bilaterally in South Africa, speaking in amharic; this had facilitated mutual understanding.
  • He stated in the briefing that the assessment of the value of all destroyed infrastructure is valued at around 20 billion US dollars.
  • He stated assistance from international partners will be needed to meet the needs for reconstruction.
  • Redwan stated that the reconnection of services in Tigray had started, specifying that work on the telecommunications and electricity infrastructure in the Alamata region has begun.
  • Getachew Reda, spokesperson for the Tigray government, reaffirmed that the signing of this peace was driven by a prioritisation of the interests of the people of Tigray who “have suffered beyond what ordinary mortals can endure”, saying that they fought because “our survival as a people is at stake”.
  • The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) issued a statement welcoming the peace agreement. GSTS said it strongly opposes several provisions of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) that according to them directly contravene the interests of the people of Tigray.
  • GSTS has rejected the “disbandment” of Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) saying that “for Tigray, security is a survival issue and it has been proven that TDF is the sole provider of the security of Tigray.”
  • Citing TDF’s experienced leaders, GSTS said TDF has also the potential to become an effective and reliable security partner of peace and security in the Horn of Africa.
  • GSTS proposed a joint UN-AU monitoring, verification and compliance mechanism, rejecting the sole leadership of the AU.
  • According to Alex de Waal, the large concessions made by the TPLF to the Ethiopian government can be attributed to their belief that the survival of the people of Tigray is at stake if war continues.
  • He points out the monitoring mechanism proposed in the peace agreement is a limited team of maximum 10 persons reporting to an AU panel chaired by Obasanjo.
  • He highlights the lack of mention of international investigation into crimes committed during the war.

Situation in Tigray (per 07 November)

  • Sources state that the rumour of a drone strike on Wuqro on Friday 4 November was false. Heavy artillery fire has reportedly stopped in Wuqro since the signing of the agreement.
  • There have been reports of continued fighting near Adigrat by Eritrean forces.

Situation in Ethiopia (per 07 November)

  • Residents told the BBC that heavy gunfire has been heard after the Oromo Liberation Army stormed the town of Nekemte in Oromia regional state on 6 November.
  • “Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) militants entered the city at dawn on Sunday and opened fire on government security forces,” one resident told the BBC; he said that the gunfire was heard near the town’s military camp.
  • According to Addis Standard three judges from the Oromia supreme court were detained on 4 October. The judges are accused of terrorism-related offenses; their detention came shortly after they decided on the release on bail of six security personnel of opposition leader Jawar Mohammed.

International Situation (per 07 November)

  • Tigrayans protested in several US cities this weekend, calling attention to the impact of the war in Tigray.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) welcomed the peace agreement and says it is considering future steps in its funding program to restructure the 30 billion USD debts of Ethiopia.

–        An association of Eritrean refugees in Milan asked the papacy in an open letter to pay more attention to events transpiring in Eritrea.

  • In October, bishop and eparch of Segeneiti, Fikremariam Hagos Tsalim, was arrested right after landing in Asmara. Two priests were arrested three days earlier. All are held without explanation.

Links of interest

Twitter: GSTS position statement on the peace agreement for the cessation of hostilities

Twitter: Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Moran Centre in Karen

Ethiopia civil war: Tigray truce a triumph for PM Abiy Ahmed

New round of peace talks between Ethiopia, Tigray reps

Twitter: Getachew K Reda Everything we do is driven to ensure the interest of the people of Tigray.

Government’s briefing to Int’l Community in Addis Ababa on peace deal with TPLF

Only Holding All to Account in Ethiopia Will Ensure its Survival

Outcry over arrest of three Oromia Supreme Court judges

Rebels storm Ethiopian town: Residents told the BBC

Ethiopia, Tigray Rebels Cease-fire Welcomed by IMF Amid Talks on Reform Plans

Pope called to the rescue of missing Eritrean bishop

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