Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: Accept our rule or no ceasefire, rebels say

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Rebels in Ethiopia’s Tigray region say they must be recognised as its legitimate government before they accept any ceasefire.

The withdrawal of Eritrean troops was another precondition in a long list.

The authorities in Addis Ababa earlier declared a unilateral ceasefire as the rebels retook much of the region and government officials fled.

Eight months of fighting between the rebels and government forces have left thousands of people dead.

More than two million people have been displaced and 400,000 are now affected by famine, the UN says, with a further 1.8 million on the brink of famine.

Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels initially described the Ethiopian government’s ceasefire as a “joke” and vowed to drive their “enemies” from the region.

This included Eritrean troops and pro-Ethiopian government forces from Ethiopia’s Amhara region to the south of Tigray.

But they have now produced a long list of preconditions for agreeing to a ceasefire, including an independent investigation into alleged war crimes, the delivery of humanitarian aid and restoration of basic services such as electricity.

“As long as we have a foolproof guarantee that the security of our people will not be compromised by a second round of invasions, we accept a ceasefire in principle,” a statement signed by the “government of Tigray” said on Sunday.

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