Ethiopia Troops Seen Moving Toward Tigray After Truce Agreed

Hundreds of Ethiopian troops converged on a town near the border of the northern Tigray province, days after the government and rebels from the region agreed to a humanitarian truce after almost 17 months of fighting. 

Over the past few days, 32 buses carrying soldiers were seen in Kobo in Amhara state, south of Tigray, some of whom may be replacing personnel who were being rotated, Addisu Wedajo, the town’s mayor, said by phone. 

While the additional forces may help facilitate the establishment of a humanitarian corridor to allow aid to be disbursed to millions of people who need it, their presence may also place the truce at risk. 

“Neither the people nor the regional government have adopted the truce,” Addisu said. “There is a fear that we will be at risk if the federal forces move, so everyone is holding their ground.”

  The agreement reached between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on March 25 is the closest the two sides have come to a cease-fire since hostilities erupted in November 2020. The government didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the deployment. 

The TPLF won’t do anything that stands in the way of aid deliveries, although it’s closely monitoring troop movements, according to spokesman Getachew Reda.

“At this stage, there is no indication that such movements are meant for securing the road for aid,” he said. “Nor are we particularly at this point worried that the new reinforcements are meant to overrun our positions.” 

Yilikal Kefale, president of the Amhara region, told regional officials on March 22 that the federal government and its regional allies planned to bolster troop numbers.

The agreement reached between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on March 25 is the closest the two sides have come to a cease-fire since hostilities erupted in November 2020. The government didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the deployment. 

The TPLF won’t do anything that stands in the way of aid deliveries, although it’s closely monitoring troop movements, according to spokesman Getachew Reda.

“At this stage, there is no indication that such movements are meant for securing the road for aid,” he said. “Nor are we particularly at this point worried that the new reinforcements are meant to overrun our positions.” 

Yilikal Kefale, president of the Amhara region, told regional officials on March 22 that the federal government and its regional allies planned to bolster troop numbers.


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