This move follows reports that Tigray’s former ruling party has regained control of the regional capital, Meckler.
The Ethiopian government stated that after nearly eight months of deadly conflict, it has announced an immediate and unilateral ceasefire in its northern Tigray region. There are reports that Tigray’s former ruling party has regained control of the regional capital Merkel.
Shortly after the federal government-appointed Tigray interim government fled Merkel and called for a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds so that much-needed assistance can be provided, the official media issued a statement on the ceasefire.
Ethiopia stated that the ceasefire will continue until the end of the important planting season in Tigray. The season ends in September.
“The government has a responsibility to find a political solution to the problem,” said Abraham Belay, the head of the interim government, adding that some people in the former ruling party in Tigray were willing to contact the federal government.
At the same time, the former ruling party in Ethiopia’s Tigray region said on Monday that it had regained control of Merkel, and residents reported that the city had seen troops in Tigray region uniforms for the first time since November last year.
“Mekle, the capital of Tigray, is under our control,” Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) spokesman Getaqiu Radar told Reuters via satellite phone.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister’s spokesperson, the head of the government’s Tigray emergency working group, and the military spokesman did not immediately respond to calls and news seeking comment.
In recent days, some of the most intense conflicts have occurred in the region.
Thousands of people were killed in the fighting as Ethiopian and Allied forces hunted down Tigray’s former leader and his supporters, and humanitarian groups pleaded for more access to this area of 6 million people. Hundreds of thousands of people face the worst famine crisis in the world in a decade.
Last week, after a military airstrike on a busy market in Tigray killed more than 60 people, the pressure on Ethiopia from the international community soared again.
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