The Ethiopian government in a bid to prevent disruptions to the farming season (which lasts from May to September) and to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid has declared a unilateral ceasefire with immediate effect.
The ceasefire was declared following a request from the interim regional administration in Tigray, which Addis Ababa appointed after ousting TPLF forces.
After nearly eight months of fighting, rebels of Ethiopia’s Tigray region say they are back in control of the regional capital Mekelle.
Mekelle fell to the federal army on November 28, three weeks after an escalation in fighting between government troops and the Tigray’s former governing party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which led Abiy Ahmed to launch an offensive.
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement said “It is essential that civilians are protected, humanitarian aid reach the people in need and a political solution is found.” Guterres who had spoken to Prime Minister Abiy was “hopeful that an effective cessation of hostilities will take place.
“This unilateral ceasefire declaration starts from today June 28, 2021 and will stay until the farming season ends,” the federal government said in a statement on Monday.
The nearly eight months of fighting has killed thousands of people, displaced more than 2 million and have left at least 350,000 people in the region facing starvation.