Officials Discuss Implementation as World Reacts to Peace Deal Signing

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s federal and regional government officials held a discussion to initiate the process of implementing the peace deal with TPLF as the world reacts to the signing of the cessation of hostilities.

The federal government and the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) reached a permanent peace agreement to end the two-year fighting in northern Ethiopia following a 10-day-long African Union-led peace process in South Africa.

On Friday, the team that represented the federal government in the talks briefed the government officials about the peace process and the agreement in a meeting held on Friday.

Prime Minister Abiy presided over the meeting that also discussed ways to expedite the implementation of the peace deal.

The Prime Minister finally “gave stricter directions to focus on the dividends of peace,” said his National Security Advisor Redwan Hussien.

Redwan also said the federal government has set up various teams to expedite efforts of rehabilitation, reconstruction as well as public and diplomatic engagements. “No room for dissension and detraction,” said the security advisor.

Agreement made public –

Prior to the briefing, Redwan shared a copy of the signed agreement with the public after a leaked draft copy circulated on social media.

“The agreement was made after multiple back & forth, open and close, larger and small group debates,” he explained.

“Hence,” he said, “there were several drafts from both sides. Some being circulated maybe earlier versions which may give the wrong impression.”

REACTIONS POUR IN

The African Union launched the peace talks between the government and TPLF on 25 October 2022, seeking to secure a Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement between the parties, and pave the way for restoring peace, security, and stability in the Tigray Region.

Led by the AU envoy for the Horn of Africa and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo together with the AU High-Level Panel, the peace process concluded with the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement on Wednesday.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat commended both parties for signing the permanent peace agreement.

“The African Union is committed to continue supporting the Parties to find lasting peace and reconciliation for all Ethiopians,” the chairperson said in a tweet.

‘PM expresses Gratitude

Prime minister Abiy called the peace accord “monumental in moving Ethiopia forward on the path of the reforms we embarked upon four and half years ago.”

“Our commitment to peace remains steadfast,” he said. “And our commitment to collaborating for the implementation of the agreement is equally strong”.

The PM expressed his gratitude to the AUC and its chair, as well as the High-level panel, for spearheading the AU’s principled position of “African Solutions to African Problems”.

‘Peace Is Irreplaceable Treasure’

His Holiness Abune Mathias, Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church, extended a congratulatory message to all after the declaration of the truce that is expected to end the two-year-long conflict.

“Since Ethiopia belongs to the Ethiopians, we should protect it, resolve our disagreements through dialogue, put our words into reality, and implement reconciliation,” he said. The patriarch noted that peace is the irreplaceable treasure of mankind, according to the church’s TV.

EHRC: Transitional Justice Policy Key

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), after welcoming the peace deal, urged concerned parties to support all efforts towards the full and effective implementation of the Agreement for Lasting Peace and Cessation of Hostilities and to support all civilians in affected regions.

The Commission commended the agreement reached by the parties to adopt a Transitional Justice Policy Framework to ensure accountability, truth, reconciliation, and healing.

Italy: “Commendable step”

The Foreign Ministry of Italy also issued a statement saying its government “favorably welcomes the important” agreement on the cessation of hostilities.

“This is a commendable step by all actors involved in the African Union-led talks,” it said. “The implementation of the agreement is now crucial. Italy stands ready to help achieve lasting peace in the country.”

U.S. Commits ‘to back implementation’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the “momentous step taken” in Pretoria where the peace agreement was signed.

“We commend the parties for taking this initial step to agree to end the fighting and continue dialogue to resolve outstanding issues to consolidate peace and bring an end to almost two years of conflict,” said Blinken.

He said the US remains “a committed partner to this AU-led process” as well as regional and international partners to support the implementation of the agreement.

UAE: Deal ‘fulfills Public’s Aspirations’

The UAE welcomed the announcement of the peace agreement, stressing that the agreement fulfills the aspirations of the Ethiopian people for development and prosperity and strengthens the country’s unity.

UAE’s Foreign Ministry expounded the importance of the agreement’s terms to facilitate access to humanitarian and relief supplies and wished that the implementation of the agreement will further achieve stability, development, and growth for Ethiopia and its people.

Japan: ‘An Initial step towards Peace

Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa said the peace agreement is “an initial step towards peace and stability” in Ethiopia and its neighboring countries.

“It is necessary that all parties concerned will faithfully implement the agreement, and Japan will continue to work with other countries towards the peace and stability in Ethiopia and its surrounding countries,” said Hayashi on Friday.

IMF weighs potential funding program

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) welcomed the ceasefire and said it’s weighing the next steps on a potential funding program.

The agreement represents “a critical step towards restoring lasting peace and stability,” the IMF told Bloomberg. “Fund staff have ongoing discussions with the authorities on their reform plans, which could set the ground for negotiating a potential new fund program. We will be considering the next steps and discussing these with the authorities.”

Authorities need to initiate a new funding program with the IMF to proceed with a planned restructuring of Ethiopia’s $30 billion debt.

Featured Image Caption; The representative of the Federal government of Ethiopia briefed federal and regional officials about the 10-day-long AU-led peace process in a meeting held on Nov. 4, 2022.

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