Lieutenant General Tadese Werede, Commander-in-Chief of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces, said TPLF forces will withdraw from their positions on the war fronts within two or three days.
The army’s disarmament will be followed by the evacuation of TPLF combatants from the front lines to where the army will be stationed, according to the Commander-in-Chief.
“As long as our logistics capacity allows, we can withdraw at once, or it may take a few days.”
In line with the Nairobi peace agreement, the first step of the agreement’s implementation is discussing and giving orientation to the army, and the people and creating a general consensus regarding the peace agreement.
In this regard, Tadesse Werede said his fighters and the people were briefed about the peace agreement and the disarmament process.
“Based on the agreement and things directly related to our duty, we are almost finalizing the tasks with our forces. Giving orientation to our force from the commander down is almost done and will be settled completely within two or three days.”
He further mentioned that the disarmament of heavy weapons and artillery is directly related to the withdrawal of the Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray, which, he noted, are not interested in the peace agreement and are obstacles to its implementation.
Affirming Ethiopian troops and Tigrayan fighters met in person and exchanged ideas, Lieutenant General Tadese urged the Ethiopian government to execute its responsibility of withdrawing Eritrean and the Amhara forces out of Tigray.
“Since the Amhara and the Eritrean forces entered Tigray with the Ethiopian Defense Force, it is the Ethiopian government that is in charge of driving them out of Tigray, not us,” he indicated.
“In Tigray there is a single command which makes it easy to control,” Tadese said, adding that “the disarmament will be done in a way that ensures sustainable security of the people of Tigray and not in a way that endangers it.”
State Department of the United States disclosed that the secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, in his discussion with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, on Nov 22, highlighted “the cessation of hostilities agreement, including withdrawal of all foreign forces and concurrent disarmament of the Tigrayan forces, should be implemented immediately.”
TPLF said in a statement on Nov 20, that Eritrean forces have continued conducting widespread atrocities in Tigray after the peace agreement was signed in South Africa and Kenya.
Getachew Reda, a member of the TPLF central committee, and General Tsadikan Gebretnsaie, among the higher delegates of TPLF, told journalists on Nov 19 that the main obstacle to the implementation of the peace accord would be the presence of the Eritrean and Amhara forces inside Tigray.
Following the signing of the permanent cessation of hostilities, the Ethiopian government announced it will be committed to its responsibility of implementing the agreement and facilitating humanitarian aid and medical supplies to enter the Tigray region from all directions.
Secretary Blinken recognized the government’s endeavor to facilitate humanitarian aid and the resumption of basic services in the Tigray region and its neighboring Afar and Amhara regions.
“The US remains committed to supporting the African Union-led process, including the AU monitoring and verification mechanism,” Blinken added.