The northern Ethiopian region of Tigray has reported that over 50,000 of its fighters have been demobilized as part of a peace agreement signed with the federal government, effectively ending a bloody two-year war.
On May 26, media outlets with affiliations to both sides had reported the commencement of demobilization among rebel forces. However, the exact number of Tigrayan combatants involved remains uncertain.
Late Wednesday, the region’s official television station, Tigray TV, announced that over 50,000 former fighters have been demobilized as part of the peace agreement.
On July 19, the official Ethiopian news agency ENA reported that approximately 50,000 former Tigrayan rebel fighters would be integrated into the regular army this year.
The war in Africa’s second most populous country resulted in countless civilian casualties and displaced around two million people from their homes before it concluded with a surprising truce in November last year.
Fighting has come to a halt, and Eritrean forces, which entered Tigray to support the federal government, have mostly withdrawn from the region.
Since January, Tigrayan forces have been surrendering their heavy weapons, and the disarmament process is ongoing. However, western parts of Tigray are still under the control of forces from the neighboring region of Amhara, which also supported the federal army.
As per the peace agreement, there will be a simultaneous withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray.
On July 4, the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA reported that approximately 8.8 million people were in need of food assistance in Ethiopia. This figure does not include the millions of others affected by drought in the country’s south and southeastern regions.