Ethiopia warring sides agree to provide humanitarian access to 'all in need'

© Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP

Ethiopia's government and Tigrayan rebels agreed Saturday to facilitate immediate humanitarian access to "all in need" in war-ravaged Tigray and neighbouring regions.

The agreement followed talks in the Kenyan capital Nairobi this week on the full implementation of a deal signed between the warring sides 10 days ago to end the brutal two-year conflict in northern Ethiopia.

"The parties have agreed to facilitate unhindered humanitarian access to all in need of assistance in Tigray and neighbouring regions," a joint statement said.

The agreement was signed by Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, chief of staff of the Ethiopian Armed Forces, and General Tadesse Worede, commander-in-chief of the Tigray rebel forces.

African Union mediator Olusegun Obasango said the deal was with "immediate effect".

The two sides have also agreed to establish a joint committee to implement the agreement to disarm fighters with the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the statement said.

The African Union Commission said it "applauds the parties on these significant confidence-building measures and encourages them to continue towards the full implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, as part of overall efforts to end the conflict and restore peace, security and stability in Ethiopia".

The restoration of aid to Tigray and its six million people was one of the key planks of the accord.

But the rebels and a humanitarian worker based in Tigray had denied Redwan's assertions.


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