ADDIS ABABA – The United States wants Ethiopia to fully implement the peace agreement recently signed in Nairobi and Pretoria, noting the need for both parties to embrace a ceasefire and allow uninterrupted humanitarian access to the northern state.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday contacted Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, whom he asked to ensure that basic services such as banking and telecommunications infrastructure are restored in Tigray, two years after massive destruction caused by both parties.
The foreign minister noted that the same gesture should be extended to the Afar and Amhara regions which have also been hit hard by the Ethiopian war, which has been going on for two years. Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] has been at war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front [TPLF].
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed about efforts to bring lasting peace to northern Ethiopia,” the statement read. “Secretary Blinken acknowledged ongoing efforts by the Ethiopian government to work for unimpeded humanitarian assistance and restoration of basic services in the Tigray region as well as in the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions.”
For peace to be restored in Tigray, he noted, the country must push for the immediate withdrawal and disengagement of Eritrean troops in Tigray, while simultaneously carrying out the disarmament of the TPLF. This, he realized, will help the parties to respect the peace agreement without controversy.
“The secretary underlined the importance of immediately implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces and the simultaneous disarmament of the Tigrayan forces,” the statement added. “He noted that the United States remains committed to supporting the African Union-led process, including the AU’s monitoring and verification mechanism.”
The TPLF team recently warned that they will not respect the peace agreement if the country fails to push for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops from parts of Tigray. Thousands of people have died since the conflict started and millions have been displaced in the process, according to the UN.