Ethiopian federal police deploy in Tigray after peace deal

By AFP

A federal police officer stands guard as people gather during a protest against purported fake news and foreign meddling at the British Embassy of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on November 25, 2021. Amanuel Sileshi | AFP
Ethiopia’s federal police began to deploy on Thursday in the capital of war-torn Tigray for the first time in 18 months, the police said, marking the latest step in a nearly two-month-old peace deal.

Federal police, “based on the power given… by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia constitution to protect/guard federal institutions” entered Mekele “and started work”, their agency said in a statement on Facebook.

“It will give guaranteed security to institutions administered by the (federal) government, including airports, electric power, telecom services, banking and other public service rendering institutions.”

War between the federal government and Tigray began in November 2020.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into the northern region after accusing its ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacking army bases.

Estimates of casualties vary widely, with the United States saying that as many as half a million people have died.

The conflict also unleashed one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters in recent times, displacing more than two million people and driving hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine.

An agreement signed on November 2 in the South African capital Pretoria provides for the disarmament of rebel forces, the re-establishment of federal authority in Tigray and the reopening of access to the region.

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