Ethiopian PM Ahmed Appoints Rebel Leader To Head Regional Government
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday announced the appointment of a Tigrayan rebel figure to head the interim government of the northern region, a key step in the implementation of a peace agreement, reported The Africa News.
“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed Getachew Reda as chairman of the interim administration of the Tigray region,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Getachew Reda served as an adviser to Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). He was previously the spokesperson for the movement.
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. Notably, tens of thousands of people were killed and millions forced from their homes in the two-year Tigray conflict.
The Ethiopian government declared TPLF a terrorist organization in May 2021, six months after the Tigray war began.
On Wednesday, Ethiopian MPs agreed to remove the TPLF from the list of terrorist organizations, as provided for in the peace agreement signed by the rival factions last November in Pretoria.
Under the terms of the November peace deal signed between the TPLF and the federal government, the TPLF agreed to disarm in return for the restoration of humanitarian aid to the war-hit Tigray, which has faced dire shortages of food, fuel, cash, and medicines during the two-year-long war. Since the deal, there has been some resumption of basic services and aid deliveries to the region.
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), its allies from the Eritrean army and Amhara regional forces, as well as forces loyal to the TPLF, committed war crimes during the conflict.
Eritrea and Ethiopia have strongly denied the accusations.