Staff, 2022-11-05 23:00:38,
Ethiopians may this week heave a collective sigh of relief after the government reached a cessation of hostilities agreement with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), signalling an end to a two-year war in the north of the country.
But the deal signed in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, would not have been realised had the parties not seen the “cost” of war, sources told The EastAfrican on Thursday. One of the ‘facts’ tabled before the parties — officials from the Ethiopian government and TPLF representative — was the mounting toll on civilians.
According to United Nations estimates, more than 800,000 civilians may have died since November 2020, most of whom being indirect casualties of the war, through lack of food or medical supplies. Another two million may have been displaced, internally, or as refugees in neighbouring Sudan.
“The TPLF would better know that soon or later, they would have no civilians backing them, mostly because those people would be dead from starvation or disease,” explained an African Union official familiar with the behind-the-scenes happenings in Pretoria.
“The Ethiopian government would win militarily but lose a significant portion of the population. That would have a reputation costs to the governments, so it was a burden nonetheless.”
The talks had begun a week earlier, mediated by African Union-appointed panelists dubbed “Troika of negotiators.” Former…
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