Tigray: Uneasy calm in Mekele as Abiy Ahmed visits
By John Eche
There is uneasy calm in Mekele, capital of the Tigray region that has been the hotbed of the conflict between the central government in Ethiopia and the regional government that has been headed by the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, TPLF, The Difference can report.
This is even as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who had ordered the military offensive against the TPLF over claims that the troops of the regional government had attacked a federal military installation in the region and also gone ahead to conduct regional elections that the central authorities had disallowed.
While the Ahmed government had rebuffed successive mediation attempts since the crisis broke out, Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok says there may soon be a mediation session that would involve both parties. The session is being convened by leaders from the East African region.
Meanwhile, the Addis Ababa-appointed interim administrator of the region, Dr Mulu Nega has also entered Mekele to commence the process of practically running the region. He has asked all Tigrayans who presently hold weapons in their custody, whether legal or illegal to turn over same to the provisional authority but it is unclear whether his call would be heeded.
Sources say there are still pockets of fighting going on in the region even as the numbers of refugees that had fled Tigray for neighbouring countries has been put at over 50, 000.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia had come into office in 2018 on a reform mandate to help unite a bitterly divided nation after former Prime Minister Hallemariam Desalegn resigned to pave the way for the formation of an all-inclusive national government. His initial steps in office that included the release of political prisoners, making peace overtures to Ethiopia’s neighbours and a promise to hold fresh elections had endeared him to many and even fetched him a Nobel Peace Prize, amidst other awards and recognitions.
Dr Mulu Nega, Interim Administrator of Tigray