Capital of Ethiopia's Tigray region reconnected to electric grid

© Tigrai TV via Reuters

The capital of Ethiopia's Tigray region, Mekelle, has been reconnected to the national power grid following the signing of a ceasefire deal a month ago. The city has been cut off from electricity for more than a year, and most areas outside the city are still cut off from the world.

The 2 November ceasefire deal requires Ethiopia’s government to restore basic services to Tigray, which has been mostly without phone, internet and banking services since war erupted two years ago.

The power control centre in Mekelle and its line were "connected to the national power grid after repair work was finished", Ethiopian Electric Power said in a statement.

The electricity supply remains erratic in some parts of the city, according to residents.

Phone service has returned to parts of southern Tigray and to the region’s second-largest city of Shire, where large numbers of displaced people have settled.

Banks to reopen

The National Bank of Ethiopia has ordered commercial banks to undertake audits ahead of re-opening branches located in areas of Tigray under the control of the federal military, according to local media reports.

The closure banks has left millions of people unable to access their savings to buy food, according to aid workers, exacerbating the region’s dire humanitarian crisis.

As part of the ceasefire deal, Tigray leaders were to demobilise their forces within 30 days.

But, he said, there were still “forces in the areas that don’t want peace”, referring to soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea, and Tigray leadership has said it will not fully demobilise until those troops leave the area.

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