The Tigray People’s Liberation Front asked the Eritrean army and Ethiopian soldiers in Amhara to withdraw.
The rebel leaders in the Tigray region of Ethiopia demanded the complete withdrawal of the Eritrean army and fighters from neighboring Ethiopia’s Amhara state before any negotiations with the federal government on a ceasefire can be conducted.
This development was made in a statement on Sunday by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a regional authority expelled by the Ethiopian army and the army of neighboring Eritrea last year.
On Monday, TPLF returned to Meckler, the capital of the region, to greet the cheering crowd. After their return, the federal government unilaterally announced a ceasefire, and TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda regarded this as a “joke.”
The statement on Sunday stated that TPLF will accept the ceasefire in principle if there is a firm guarantee that there will be no further invasion, but a series of other conditions need to be met before any agreement is formalized.
“Invading forces from Amhara and Eritrea must withdraw from Tigray and return to the pre-war territory,” it said.
The rebel authorities also called for “procedures” to be adopted to hold Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki responsible for “the damage they caused,” and called on the United Nations to establish an independent investigative agency to investigate “Horrible crimes” committed during the conflict.
Other conditions are humanitarian, including the distribution of aid and the safe return of the displaced to Tigray.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson and the chairperson of the government working group established to coordinate Tigray’s security operations did not immediately comment.
Al Jazeera’s Catherine Soy reported from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, that one of the most unpleasant conditions was the restoration of what Addis Ababa believed to be Tigray’s rebellious government.
“We have not received news from the Ethiopian government…it is difficult to accept some of these requirements. For example, by legalizing TPLF as the Tigray government, [central] The government will admit failure,” she said.
“But some analysts we interviewed said that this may be a small window into political dialogue.”
Before Abi came to power in 2018, TPLF ruled the central government for decades.
After accusing TPLF of attacking Tigray’s military base, his government has been fighting TPLF since the end of last year. Thousands were killed.
The United Nations warned on Friday that despite the federal government’s unilateral ceasefire, more than 400,000 people are still facing famine in the region and there is still the risk of more conflicts in the region.