Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) military Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General Tadese Werede, said their forces have already begun to lay down their heavy weapons and artillery and station them in a specified area.
“We have conducted a good discussion with our army and our people about the peace accord. The work of trust and orientation about the disarmament has been completed,” said Lt. Gen. Tadese Werede.
The Lt. General also disclosed that 60 to 65 percent of their forces have left the battlefronts and gone to the designated areas.
TPLF announced on Dec 1 that its combatants have started evacuating from various battlefronts, such as those in the south, Mai Kinetal, Zalambesa, Nebelet, Kukufto, Hgumbrda, Beri-Tekhlay, and Abergele.
Affirming the existence of security concerns, Lt. Gen. Tadese said in a press briefing yesterday that they have decided not to withdraw their forces from certain battlefronts, but will completely evacuate gradually in the future.
The Commander-in-Chief further mentioned that the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) is in charge of protecting the people of Tigray from any external threat while its internal security is to be handled by the Tigray security forces.
As per the Nairobi peace accord, the disarmament of heavy weapons of TPLF forces requires the withdrawal of foreign and non-ENDF forces from the region.
“The security instability gaps in various areas of the region, such as Western Tigray, the Northwest, Shire, Adwa, Axum, and Adigrat, will be covered by the regional security force,” said Lt. Gen. Tadese.
The international community, including the United States of America, urged the immediate implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces and concurrent disarmament of the Tigrayan forces.
Ethiopia’s Government Communication Service Minister Legese Tulu on Nov 16 said there is no reason why the army that is not part of the ENDF should remain in Tigray as long as the group that attacked and considered them a threat is being disarmed and reformed.
The government’s communication services reported on Dec 1 that the Technical Planning Joint Committee which is expected to outline the detailed plan for the disarmament of Tigrayan combatants convened in Shire, a town in the Tigray region.
According to Let.Gen.Tadese, the joint committee is expected to report to both commander-in-chiefs of the two parties.