Prime Minister Abiy said that his government is committed to the implementation of the “monumental” peace agreement signed between his administration and the Tigray rebel forces.
Just minutes after the signing of the agreement brokered by the African Union and mediated by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Abiy said his government’s commitment to peace was steadfast and its commitment to the implementation of the agreement was strong.
In a statement posted on social media Wednesday evening, the Prime Minister said that the peace agreement ” is monumental in moving Ethiopia forward on the path of the reforms we embarked upon four and half years ago.”
The Prime Minister expressed gratitude “to the friends of Ethiopia who have taken an active role in supporting the conclusion of the agreement”, asking “for continued support in reconstructing conflict-affected areas in the Northern part of the country and an enhanced partnership with Ethiopia in our countrywide development endeavors.”
The Prime Minister singled out Olusegun Obasanjo, the African Union (AU) High Representative for the Horn of Africa and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, the former deputy president of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for proclaiming gratitude.
Regional leaders rush to congratulate on the peace deal
Regional leaders have been quick to offer congratulations on the peace deal. Kenya’s President William Ruto said that his country reaffirms its continued commitment to support the next steps in the peace process.
In a statement issued Wednesday night, the President called on the international community to intensify support for the mediation team as well as the respective parties.
“The commitment demonstrated by the two parties to the African Union-led peace process aligns with our collective desire for peace and security within our region,” he said.
Djibouti President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, said on Twitter: “Congratulations to the combined efforts of all in forming the wish to see this agreement bring security, peace, and prosperity to our region and to our Ethiopian brothers.”
U.S, EU respond to peace deal
The United States hailed an agreement between the warring parties, saying it was open to improving relations with Addis Ababa.
“We welcome the momentous step taken in Pretoria today to advance the African Union’s campaign to ‘silence the guns’ with the signing of a cessation of hostilities between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“We welcome the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians that should result from implementation of this agreement,” he said.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, on his part, has welcomed the agreement, praising the “commitment” of both parties, as well as their “courage” in taking steps towards peace. He also praised the work of the African Union (AU), mediator in the agreement, and South Africa, host country of the talks.
“There is a need for rapid implementation on the ground of the agreement reached today. The priority is to resume humanitarian access in all affected areas and restore basic services, in particular in Tigray,” Borrell said in a statement.
However, the head of European diplomacy encouraged the parties not to limit themselves to this agreement and called for further negotiations to achieve a permanent cease-fire and to be able to push forward political talks at the highest level.