Ethiopia police, envoys from 32 countries enter Tigray capital Mekelle

Ethiopia’s federal police have entered the Tigray region’s capital Mekelle for the first time in more than a year, under last month’s peace deal between the federal government and Tigray leaders.

Federal police, “based on the power given… by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia constitution to protect/guard federal institutions” entered Mekelle “and started work”, their agency said in a Facebook statement on Thursday.

“It will give guaranteed security to institutions administered by the (federal) government, including airports, electric power, telecom services, banking and other public service rendering institutions.”

Photos shared by state media outlets in Ethiopia showed hundreds of police officers entering Mekelle in convoys.

On Thursday, a delegation from the African Union and the Ethiopian government arrived in Mekelle to set up an agreed mission to monitor progress in implementing the peace deal.

Three African army generals have been assigned to lead the monitoring team and ambassadors from 32 countries also entered Mekelle.

The peace agreement ended the conflict between federal and regional forces that started in November 2020 and, according to US estimates, claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, displacing millions of people.

Restoring services in Tigray

Basic services and humanitarian aid deliveries are gradually resuming in the northern Tigray region.

On Thursday, the towns of Adirkay, Enchiko, May Tsebri and Rama were reconnected to the power network after more than a year and half off the grid.

Ethiopian Airlines, which launched a scheduled flight to Mekelle on Wednesday, also announced it was resuming services to the town of Shire and increasing flights to Mekelle due to strong demand.

The country’s biggest bank, the Commercial Bank of  Ethiopia, announced on December 19 that financial operations had resumed in some towns.



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