The restoration of Tigray’s internet service will be carried alongside the resumption of its phone and electricity services, though no date has been set for those goals, Ethiopia’s Minister for Innovation and Technology Belete Molla said.
He was speaking at the U.N.’s annual Internet Governance Forum being held this week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
“The government of Ethiopia is designing a package that is not only about internet resumption but the resumption of everything, because this is what we need as a people, as a government,” Belete said of the internet shutdown in Tigray. “There is no timeline.”
Tigray, home to more than 5 million people, has been mostly without internet, telecommunications, and banking since war broke out between federal government troops and forces led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in November 2020.
A ceasefire deal signed between the warring sides in South Africa earlier this month commits the government to restore Tigray’s basic services, but the communications blackout has not yet been lifted.
Renewed fighting in August halted aid deliveries to Tigray, which is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis. Aid has now started reaching the region, but the World Food Program said last week that access to parts of Tigray remains “constrained.”