Ethiopian Parliament Removes Tigray Rebel Party From Terrorist Organizations List
Ethiopian lawmakers on Wednesday removed Tigray’s main political movement, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), from the country’s list of designated terrorist organizations, a major step towards establishing an interim government, reported Reuters.
“The House adopted the decision to remove the terrorist designation of the TPLF by a majority vote,” the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives said on its Facebook account.
The delisting from the list comes four months after the warring sides signed a peace deal last year that ceased a conflict that killed hundreds of thousands of people. The delisting is a prerequisite condition for the TPLF’s participation in an interim government for which the party nominated its spokesman, Getachew Reda, for the presidency last week.
The TPLF dominated Ethiopia’s political arena for around three decades before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. The Tigray conflict began in late 2020 when Prime Minister Abiy ordered troops to barge into Tigray to stem an alleged attack on federal army camps. Ethiopia’s government designated the TPLF as a terrorist group in May 2021.
The two-year-long conflict ended with a truce last November after tens of thousands of people were killed and millions forced to flee from their homes. The peace agreement has reinstalled communications, banking, and other basic services in the Tigray region, which is home to more than 5 million people.
In related news, earlier this week, the United States (US) concluded that all warring parties involved in the brutal war including members of the Ethiopian National Defence Force, Supporting Eritrean Forces, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and Amhara military troops committed war crimes during the two-year conflict in northern Ethiopia.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also blamed the Ethiopian forces, Eritrean Defence forces, and the Amhara forces for committing crimes against humanity including killings, rape, and other forms of sexual violence and persecution.