By: Our staff writers
Addis Ababa( Ethiopia Today), May 5, 2023: The U.S. says the complete withdrawal of Eritrean and non-federal forces from the Tigray Region” is key to achieving sustainable peace since the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) took six months.
In March this year, the U.S. determined that members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, Eritrean Forces, and Amhara forces had committed “crimes against humanity” in the Tigray region, whereas all sides had committed “war crimes” during Ethiopia’s two-year war that started in Tigray and spread to the Amhara and Afar regions.
Multiple reports showed that Eritrean forces have committed atrocities against Tigrayan civilians since the start of the war, which has also been documented by human rights organizations, including the state-backed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), highlighting “grave human rights violations and an attack against civilians in Axum city, Tigray region.”
Although the Nairobi Declaration of the Executive Plan stated that “disarmament of heavy weapons will be done concurrently with the withdrawal of foreign and non-ENDF forces from Tigray,” the whole of Western Tigray and parts of Southern Tigray remained occupied by the Amhara forces, whereas Eritrean forces remained in parts of North-Western and Eastern Tigray, where they are accused of continued atrocity crimes.
Today’s statement by the State Department also urged “continued follow-through, including by deploying additional monitors for the protection of civilians and conducting an effective disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration process.”
The AU’s Joint Committee for Monitoring and Implementation held its inaugural meeting at the AU headquarters in Addis Abeba on February 10 this year, but there has not been an official report published on the details of the implementation available to the wider public.