Canada Global Tv: A stunning diplomatic achievement two years into a war that has claimed thousands of lives, uprooted millions of people, and put hundreds of thousands in danger of starvation was reached on Wednesday when the Ethiopian government and local forces from Tigray agreed to end hostilities.
Delegates from both sides reached an agreement on a “permanent suspension of hostilities” just over a week after formal peace talks mediated by the African Union (AU) got underway in the South African capital Pretoria.
Olusegun Obasanjo, head of the AU mediation team, announced at a ceremony that “the two parties in the Ethiopian war have formally committed to the halt of hostilities as well as to methodical, orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament.”
The deal also includes “establishment of law and order, restoration of services, unrestricted access to humanitarian supplies, and protection of civilians,” according to former Nigerian president Obasanjo.
Not expecting an agreement so quickly. The AU had earlier invited the media to what it called Obasanjo’s briefing. Only after the gathering finally got underway, approximately three hours late, did it become evident that a truce was about to be negotiated.
“The peace process is not over at this point. The success of the peace accord signed today depends on its implementation “Obasanjo said that a high-level AU panel will oversee and monitor this.
Getachew Reda, a representative for the Tigray authorities, spoke at the Pretoria event about the extensive mortality and destruction in the area and expressed his hope and anticipation that all parties would uphold their pledges.
An African-led peace process for Ethiopia continues to have the support of the United States, according to White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre in Washington.
According to a UN spokeswoman, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the cease-fire as a positive first step that would provide comfort to millions of displaced people.
According to the UN, the war has resulted in a de facto blockade of Tigray for almost to two years, during which time humanitarian supplies of food and medication have largely been blocked.
The World Health Organization reported this week that Tigray had ran out of vaccines, antibiotics, and insulin. Fighting resumed in August after some assistance supplies had been delivered to Tigray between March and August of this year.
According to the report, medical facilities are now treating and dressing wounds with saline solutions and rags.
In addition to claiming that it was providing food and restoring electricity and other amenities to areas under its control, the government has continuously denied withheld help.