A new round of talks began on Monday between Ethiopia’s government and Tigray regional representatives to work out military and other details of last week’s signing of a “permanent” cessation of hostilities in a two-year conflict thought to have killed hundreds of thousands of people.
The meetings in Kenya involved the military commanders of both sides along with the lead political negotiators.
Discussed were expected to focus on how to monitor the deal, disarming Tigray forces and the resumption of humanitarian aid access and basic services to Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, which has been cut off for months.
“Maybe by the end of this week or the middle of next week” trucks of humanitarian aid will be allowed to go in, the Ethiopian government’s lead negotiator Redwan Hussein told journalists.
Tigray’s lead negotiator Getachew Reda said the delivery of aid would increase confidence in the talks.
He also reiterated that military leaders have the responsibility to ensure the implementation of the deal.
“It is for them (military leaders) to figure out how effectively to carry out the deal and to make sure that we continue to hold our fire and of course silence the guns forever,” Reda said.
Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who’s facilitating the talks in Nairobi, said he was fully confident that warring parties would be able to reach a resolution. .
“These brothers who know each other well will be able to work and formulate together the best way to bring a permanent cessation, and resolution to the problem that has confronted our brothers and sisters, our mothers and children from Ethiopia in a peaceful way,” he said.
Others who were facilitating and attending the talks included African Union envoy and former Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo and Nigerian, South African and Kenyan military officers.
The United States and the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development were listed as observers.