The Ethiopian government on Thursday announced it is scrapping criminal charges against leaders of the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), in line with a peace deal in its northern region.
“According to the peace agreement signed last November in South Africa, criminal charges that were filed in connection with this matter and were in the process of a dispute have been withdrawn,” Ethiopia’s Justice Ministry said in a statement.
The announcement is the latest confidence-building measure under their landmark peace deal.
The Ethiopian government last week said it had appointed a top TPLF official as head of an interim administration for Tigray, the country’s northernmost region.
That appointment came just a day after parliament removed the TPLF from an official list of terrorist organisations.
Conflict began in November 2020 when Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray to topple the TPLF after accusing its fighters of attacking federal military bases.
At one stage, the rebels briefly came close to marching on the capital Addis Ababa but were beaten back by forces loyal to Abiy.
In November 2020, Ethiopian media announced that arrest warrants for treason had been issued for 64 TPLF leaders as well as 32 senior army and police officers.
Among those names was Getachew Reda, who was last week named as president of the Tigray region’s interim administration under the peace deal.
The death toll of the brutal two-year war is difficult to establish but the US estimates that the conflict left around 500,000 dead, more than the Russian invasion of Ukraine.