The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) said its forces will be returning to Tigray. The group’s head said the move ” will be a decisive opening for peace.”
The leaders of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) announced on Monday that its forces would be withdrawing from a number of areas in Ethiopia and returning to Tigray.
“We trust that our bold act of withdrawal will be a decisive opening for peace,” wrote Debretsion Gebremichael, the head of the TPLF, in a letter to the United Nations.
Speaking to AFP news agency, party spokesman Getachew Reda said: “We decided to withdraw from these areas to Tigray. We want to open the door to humanitarian aid.”
‘Opportunity for peace’
William Davison is a senior analyst at Crisis Group which is an independent NGO which seeks to help resolve conflicts. Davison posted a copy of Debretsion’s letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Debretsion said that previous opportunities of a ceasfire had been passed over and urged the UN Security get behind ending hostilities.
“Do not let another opportunity for peace pass without decisive action. We propose an immediate cessation of hostilities followed by negotiations.”Debretsion called for the UN to assist with the establishment of a no-fly zone for “hostile flights of aircraft and drones over Tigray except for humanitarian and civil purposes.”
The TPLF leader also called for arms embargoes on Ethiopia and Eritrea.
There has been no immediate response from Ethiopian officials, although the latest development could be a step towards a ceasefire in the conflict which has claimed thousands of lives and dragged on for 13 months.
kb/aw (AFP, Reuters)