HomeWorld NewsEthiopia's Amhara Backs Tigray Truce, Makes No Mention of Disputed Territory

Ethiopia’s Amhara Backs Tigray Truce, Makes No Mention of Disputed Territory

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Authorities in Ethiopia’s Amhara region have welcomed the ceasefire agreement between forces in neighboring Tigray and the federal government, but they made no mention in a statement of territory seized during the two-year-long war.

Fighters from Amhara entered western Tigray in November, 2020 in support of federal troops and took control of a swathe of territory they say was historically theirs. Tigrayan officials say the area has long been home to both ethnic groups.

The ethnic violence unleashed, including mass killings on both sides, has threatened the unity of Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation

What happens to Amhara’s forces, as well as how the long-running territorial dispute will be resolved, remain key issues that observers worry could impede progress towards permanent peace.

Neither issue was explicitly addressed in the truce signed last Wednesday, although both sides committed “to resolving issues of contested areas” in accordance with Ethiopia’s constitution.

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In a statement posted on its communication bureau’s Facebook page late on Monday, Amhara’s regional administration said it was “ready to fulfill its responsibility so that the implementation of the peace deal will achieve its intended objective of bringing peace”.

It called the agreement “a milestone for the renaissance of the two brotherly people” that would help “build unity, and common values ​​beyond hatred and vengeance”, referring to Amharas and Tigrayans.

The statement did not address the future of western Tigray, a region equal to about a quarter of Tigray, which Amhara officials have previously said they would seek to annex formally.

A campaign for the Amhara regional government could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

The war in Ethiopia pits the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a guerrilla movement turned political party from the northern region of Tigray, against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s central government.

Abiy’s appointment in 2018 ended nearly three decades of TPLF domination over Ethiopia’s coalition ruling.

The TPLF says Abiy wants to end the country’s ethnically-based federal government system. Abiy says the TPLF wants to return to national power. Both sides reject each other’s narratives.

The Ethiopian government, military commanders and representatives from Tigray are meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday for a second day of a new round of talks mediated by the African Union to discuss how to begin implementing the ceasefire.

The focus is on disarmament, getting aid back into Tigray and monitoring and verification, officials have said.

(Reporting by the Nairobi newsroom,; Writing by Tommy Reggiori Wilkes, Editing by Alexandra Zavis and Ed Osmond)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters,

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