ADDIS ABEBA – The National Bank of Ethiopia has resumed collecting old currency notes in Tigray regional states on Wednesday, the bank announced.
Authorities stopped the circulating the new bank notes in the region soon after the federal government launched a security operation against forces of the former ruling party of the region, Tigray People’s Liberation Front, on November 4.
The central bank restarted collecting the old currency in cities of Tigray Region where electricity and internet service has resumed as of Wednesday.
The bank also announced that it has been decided to exchange the old birr notes within a 14 days time including the weekends.
The government released denominations of 10, 50 and 100 birr and introduced its first 200 birr note on at the end of September in a bid to boost the inflation riddled economy impacted partly by the coronavirus pandemic.
Many Ethiopians have managed to exchange the old notes with the new ones within the original time frame of three months.
The process has been stagnated in Tigray during the three months long rule of law operation and the weeks after that.
Circulation of the old notes in the region came days after banking services resumed in the region’s capital Mekele following consultations between the interim administration and residents.
A deadly attack on army bases in the region by the now-defunct TPLF in the early hours of November 4 prompted the government to launch what it described as a law enforcement operation in the region. Thousands of Ethiopians are said to have fled to neighboring Sudan since then.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the end of the operation after federal troops took control of Mekelle city. Since then, both federal and regional officials are providing basic services and supply relief to the citizens affected.