Mekelle (Agenzia Fides) - The talks held in recent days between a delegation from Addis Ababa and the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) regarding the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from the northern region of the country have been defined by the local Ethiopian press as cordial and historic. After arriving in Mekelle on Monday December 26, 2022, the government delegation and Tigrayan leaders discussed a number of urgent issues related to humanitarian aid, basic services, trade and the withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces. According to Getachew Reda, adviser to the president of Tigray, who also signed the peace agreement with the Ethiopian government on behalf of the TPLF, "fruitful talks were held and an important agreement was reached. We will continue to move forward as we face the challenges that lie ahead." The government has pledged to fully resume institutional services and repair infrastructure in all areas of the region. Ethiopia and the Tigray rebel forces have agreed to create a joint monitoring body to ensure that the peace agreement signed in South Africa on November 2 (see Fides, 3/11/2022), aimed at ending the bloody war, is respected by all parties.
The terms of the agreement also include guarantees of humanitarian access and the entry of the Ethiopian army into the capital of Tigray. This is the first delegation from the Ethiopian federal government to visit the region, two years after the start of the conflict, to monitor the implementation of last month's peace agreement.
Also on Tuesday, December 27, the national airline, Ethiopian Airlines, announced its decision to resume flights to Mekelle, to allow families to reunite, facilitate business re-establishment, stimulate the flow of tourists and provide useful opportunities for the society. With flights scheduled to the region's capital every day, the airline said it will increase the frequency based on demand for the route. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 28/12/2022)