Warring parties in Ethiopia agree on cessation of hostilities
The Ethiopian Federal Democratic Republic, after weeks of fighting, has agreed to the cessation of hostilities proposed by the warring parties.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the UN Special Envoy Richard Falk and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed an agreement, which called for Ethiopia to stop its offensive against Himeyate. In a statement released by the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, the government welcomed the agreement, while the Ethiopian military and the opposition party had released statements saying it would have an impact on the political climate of the country.
The Ethiopian government and opposition party leaders agreed on the cessation of hostilities on July 24 following talks with the Ethiopian Red Cross (ERC) and the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The parties also agreed to the creation of a peace process, with the aim of bringing an end to the three-year conflict in which some 120,000 people have been killed and thousands of others have been displaced. It was the first time that the Ethiopian armed forces had agreed to any terms of a peace process following a major attack on their home territory near the city of Oromiya.
As a result of the ceasefire, Ethiopian troops will pull back from the conflict zone and begin withdrawing from key locations inside Oromiya province, and allow humanitarian aid access to the areas affected by fighting. Additionally, the government and the ruling coalition agreed to a new political process for national reconciliation. It was agreed that the parties should start talks on the formation of a national government, which would be expected to be led by the newly elected president Abiy Ahmed.
Ethiopia is a large African country and the third most populous country in that continent. The Ethiopian government has attempted to promote economic reforms since assuming power in the mid-2000s, but in the past three years, it has struggled with problems including high unemployment, inflation, corruption and a long-standing conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.
Ethiopia is currently undergoing the country’s most extensive and prolonged political crisis since independence from Britain in 1976. President Girma Wolde-Giorgis