Ethiopian police enter the capital Tigray as part of the peace deal

Ethiopia’s Federal Police said on Thursday that its members entered the Tigray region’s capital, Mekele, for the first time in more than a year during the peace deal between the federal government and Tigray leaders last month.

The peace deal ended the conflict between federal and regional forces that began in November 2020 and has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions, according to US estimates.

Federal police said on Facebook that officers in Mekele will “protect federal property as part of the country’s constitution” and will guard airports, power and telecommunications facilities and banks.

Photos shared by state media in Ethiopia showed hundreds of police officers coming to Mekele in convoys.

Basic supplies and humanitarian aid shipments are gradually resuming in the northern Tigray region. On Thursday, the cities of Adirkay, Enchiko, May Tsebri and Rama were reconnected to the grid after more than a year and a half without grid.

Ethiopian Airlines, which launched a scheduled flight to Mekele on Wednesday, also said it would resume flights to the Shire town and increase flights to Mekele due to strong demand.

A delegation from the African Union and the Ethiopian government arrived in Mekele on Thursday to set up an agreed mission to monitor progress in implementing the peace agreement.

Three African army generals have been assigned to lead the monitoring team and ambassadors from 32 countries arrived in Mekele on Thursday.

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