Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, is slated to visit the war-torn region of Tigray at the end of next week. This will be his second trip to Ethiopia since the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal government struck a peace deal.
At the 17th Internet Governance Forum, which was held in Addis Ababa about two months ago, Guterres met Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD). Later, the Secretary-General visited Abiy at his palace, where he reaffirmed his full support for the implementation of the permanent cessation of hostilities agreement (COHA) and the declaration on the modalities for its implementation, which was brokered by the African Union.
The UN Secretary General is scheduled to arrive in Addis Ababa at the end of next week, according to diplomatic sources. “Guterres is coming to Ethiopia for two main purposes, the first is to attend the African Union summit that will be held at the end of next week,” the source told The Reporter.
Following his participation in the summit, the Secretary-General will fly to the Tigray region to examine the destruction caused by the war as well as the humanitarian situation on the ground, the sources disclosed.
Guterres will also travel to the Amhara and Afar regions in order to visit the areas that have been affected by the conflict in North Ethiopia. He will meet with Abiy in Addis Ababa to discuss the efforts being made to rebuild and rehabilitate war-torn communities and territories.
A peace agreement was signed in Pretoria in November last year, bringing an end to the two-year conflict that had been raging in Tigray. The peace deal is currently being implemented by both parties.
Tigray’s access to essential services, including banking, telecommunications, and electricity, has been fully restored through the efforts of the federal government, which has so far allowed non-governmental organizations unrestricted access to deliver humanitarian assistance.
Between November 2022 and January 26, 2023, the government, the UN, and NGO partners delivered more than 127,000 metric tons (MT) of food supplies to the Tigray region. During the second round of the distribution of food aid, almost 4.5 million residents of the region received assistance.
Abiy also directed the transfer of five billion birr to Tigray last week, just days after meeting with TPLF officials Getachew Reda and Tadesse Worede. The TPLF, on the other hand, complied with the provisions of the peace deal by handing over its heavy weaponry to the federal government.
The Eritrean army, which was feared to obstruct the implementation of the peace agreement, has also left many parts of the Tigray region. Recent statements made by the TPLF show that the Eritrean army is still operating in parts of Tigray.