Ethiopia Demonstrating Full Commitment To Implementing Peace Agreement


The Agreement on Permanent Cessation of Hostilities was signed on 2 November, 2022 between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the TPLF in Pretoria, South Africa. The peace talks  mediated by the AU, was attended by international observers such as UN and  paved the way for a lasting peace in northern part of  Ethiopia. Even before the signing of the agreement, the Ethiopian Government had been providing the lion’s share of relief supplies to the citizens affected by the war and has been cooperating with international partners and UN systems to facilitate the supply of relief food to the needy people of Tigray. 

The Pretoria Peace Agreement has enhanced a new culture of putting an end to conflicts by soliciting political solutions through round table discussions. This bold move amplifies the importance of a mature and resolute decision of the federal government of Ethiopia to prevent future generations from inheriting a legacy of winners and losers characterized by animosity and grudges. Through peace agreement, the two parties agreed to halt the bloody and unnecessary conflict.

The Ethiopian Government has established an environment conducive to unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray. Following the signing of the peace agreement, the government surpassed its obligations stipulated in the accord and implemented series of measures deemed necessary to cultivate trust and sustainable peace in the northern part of the country.

The government has also been diligently working towards repairing and reinstating damaged infrastructure facilities and services. Considerable financial resources have been allocated by the government to reinstate economic activities in the Tigray region. Given the substantial dividend of peace, the government has carried out activities beyond expectations to heal the wounds inflicted by the conflict. 

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the Ethiopian Government took remarkable swift action in restoring the infrastructure facilities that were damaged by the conflict by opening up road transport to Tigray as a major prerequisite for fast-tracking relief and rehabilitation supplies as well as restarting social services like hospitals, health centers and clinics and schools as well as telephone and network services. The government also restored electric power supply in Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions by deploying professionals who accomplished their duties in a relatively shorter period of time.

Major airports in Tigray region were rehabilitated and air transport resumed operations enabling citizens to reunite with their families who had been separated for two years. 

With regard to costs of the maintenance of airports in Tigray, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told members of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) earlier this year that over half billion Birr of expenditure was made for the resumption of the air transport to Shire, Mekele and Axum. The air transport at least helped people with chronic diseases to fly to Addis and get medical treatment.

Moreover, Ethio telecom also repaired over 1000 kms of optical fiber and 475 mobile sites while repairing over 20,000 landline telephones, it was learnt.

Furthermore, the National Bank Ethiopian provided 10 billion Birr liquidity, enabling some 600 bank branches to start services. 

Almost all universities in Tigray regional state have resumed their duties. Similarly, health care institutions are now providing health services.

Through a special procurement, the federal government has imported 500 tractors and over 300 pumps to improve agriculture in Tigray. About 630,000 hectares of land was also cultivated in the region last crop season with support of agricultural inputs support such as tractors, select seed, fertilizer and pumps by the Ministry of Agriculture and other regional states.

Moreover, major public and private banks were reopened to provide financial services which were totally closed during the war which lasted for two years. This has helped to reinvigorate business activities that have totally collapsed in the advent of the devastative war. 

The aforementioned results are just a few of the achievements carried out by the federal government as part of its duties to the Pretoria Peace Agreement, creating confidence with TPLF.   However, the other party has reciprocated little. 

For instance, former combatants of TPLF have not been demobilized, to the contrary, there are visible deployment and mobilizations of armed forces for fresh conflicts that everyone can see, claiming they will seize disputed areas of former settlements. 

This is in stark violation of the Pretoria Peace Agreement. The peace agreement underscores that disputed areas should be resolved constitutionally, not through force. 

Hence, to fully implement the peace agreement, the other signatory must reciprocate its duties in the same manner and commitment demonstrated by the federal government: it needs to demobilize its forces, cease provocation to control disputed areas by force.   

It is only the federal government which should have military might and capability. States are prohibited from maintaining armed and organized forces beyond the police and militia required for law enforcement at the state level; they should not exceed this limit. 

Hence, the disarmament process and associated procedures must be expeditiously implemented in accordance with the plan charted out by the Rehabilitation Commission. Efforts to resettle those displaced by the war must be accelerated, but IDPs should  be returned to their settlements as civilians, not  with arms. The issue of administrative border demarcation should be addressed constitutionally, not by resorting to military means. 

The people of Tigray have greater expectations for the implementation of the peace agreement because much of their current and future aspirations depend upon the full implementation of the Agreement for which the government has paid special attention. The AU and international community are fully backing the timely implementation of this agreement which is of crucial importance for both the national peace and security as well as the stability of the Horn of Africa. 

Failing to learn from past mistakes is more problematic than committing the mistakes in the beginning. Without drawing lessons from our past mistakes, it will be difficult to whole heartedly collaborate with those who wish to perpetuate the problems we face today. 

Thus, sustaining the achievements so far registered by the federal government to accelerate the full implementation of the agreement seriously requires the other signatory to contribute its part in the peace process with no reservations and excuses as the terms of the Agreement entail legal accountability at all levels.

All told, the federal government has gone a long way to fully implement the peace agreement. It is vehemently working for durable peace and stability, upholding the rule of law. Hence, the National Dialogue is under implementation to resolve differences of opinion among citizens on fundamental issues and forge a national consensus and address Ethiopia’s backlogs of problems through extensive public discussions. 

The government has also put in place a Transitional Justice Policy Framework, anchored on the pillars of justice, accountability, reconciliation and redress past mistakes. Inevitably, Ethiopia’s prosperity will thrive on.

Ethiopian News Agency