News: AU joint committee to monitor Ethiopia peace implementation held inaugural meeting, urges parties to start political dialogue

Addis Abeba – AU’s Joint Committee for monitoring and implementation of the Agreement for Lasting Peace in Ethiopia through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities (CoHA) signed between the federal government and Tigrayan authorities on 02 November last year, has held its inaugural meeting at the AU headquarters in Addis Abeba on 10 February.

During the meeting, the committee commended the positive dividends of the peace process between the parties and urged both to commence political dialogue to resolve outstanding issues.

It also commended the progresses made by both parties in terms of implementing the peace agreement, “most notably the restoration of essential services, including banking, telecommunications, medical and humanitarian support in Tigray”. However it urged the parties to facilitate unimpeded road access and land transport, and also expedite the reopening of schools and other educational facilities in the region.

It also called upon all AU Partners to “intensify their support for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR)” outlined in the Pretoria Agreement and the Nairobi Declarations I and ll.

It further called on the AU to enhance the geographical coverage, capacities and resourcing of the Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (MVCM) which was launched on 10 January and also witnessed the disarmament process of Tigrayan combatants as they handed over heavy weapons to the Ethiopian National Defense Forces.

On 03 February the peace negotiating teams of the federal government and the Tigray Region have met in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) for the first time and discussed the progress of the implementation of the peace agreement signed between the two in November last year.

The unexpected meeting happened amid growing concerns about delayed and inadequate basic services restoration in the Tigray region, including banking, road transport and telecommunications. Although some progresses have been seen in the resumption of air travel, opening up of banking services and restoration of telecommunication in the Tigray region, which has been under a “de facto blockade” for two years, the progress has been slow, and the resumed services remain inadequate as opposed to the massive needs. AS

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