2 November 2023, Addis Ababa: On this First Anniversary of the signing of the “Agreement for Lasting Peace through the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities (COHA) between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)”, on 2 November 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, congratulates Ethiopians for embracing peace, national dialogue and reconciliation.
The Chairperson salutes the Ethiopian Government under the leadership of H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, and the TPLF hierarchy for the sacrifice, unwavering commitment and mutual political will to permanently silence the guns in Tigray region through the steady, timely and continuous implementation of the AU-facilitated Pretoria Agreement.
In the spirit of African Solutions to African Problems, the Chairperson acknowledges the exemplary role and the contributions of African stakeholders to the Peace Agreement, particularly the AU Peace and Security Council, which endorsed the Peace Agreement on 9 November 2022; the 3-member High-Level Panel, comprising former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) and former Deputy President Pumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (South Africa), and equally, the Government of South Africa for successfully hosting the AU-led peace talks.
The Chairperson welcomes the vital performance of the Team of African Experts serving under the AU Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (MVCM) in the Tigray region, launched on 29 December 2022, in Mekelle. He further commends all AU Member States, particularly the Governments of Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, for the support extended to the MVCM through the prompt deployment of uniformed personnel to monitor the Peace Agreement. The Chairperson also extends his gratitude to partners, notably the African Development Bank, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the United Nations, the United States of America, the European Union, as well as other AU partners for their concrete support to the AU-led Ethiopian peace process.
The Chairperson applauds the notable milestones being recorded in the implementation of the Peace Agreement and its Nairobi Roadmap. In this regard, the Chairperson highlights the handover of heavy and medium weapons, the restoration of basic services, the resumption of schools and commercial activities in the Tigray region, the establishment of an Interim Regional Administration, and the Working Group on Transitional Justice as well as the National Commission for Reintegration. These vital actions powerfully demonstrate the commitment of the Signatory Parties to chart a path for sustainable peace and security in Ethiopia.
In conclusion, the Chairperson reaffirms the full solidarity and commitment of the AU to intensify support for the implementation of the Peace Agreement as the implementation moves to the crucial phase of DDR. He reassures the people and Government of Ethiopia that the AU stands ready to consolidate the gains being made and resolve the pending issues in implementing the COHA.
The Chairperson reiterates the imperative to collectively build and sustain peace in the Tigray region and Ethiopia as a whole and, by extension, the entire Horn of Africa region.