Ethiopia: Tigray Establishes War Veterans Council Amidst Second Round Handing Over of Weapons

Addis Abeba — The Tigray region has announced on Thursday the establishment of the Tigray Veterans Council in a bid to help disabled fighters and families of martyrs of the two years war with the federal government and its allies.

Speaking during the establishment of the council in Mekelle, interim president of the region Getachew Reda said the council will ensure that “the heroes of Tigray are given due respect and participate in the redevelopment of Tigray”, according to regional media Tigray Television.

In March the president pledged to resolve the issues of disabled fighters after they took it to the streets of Mekelle on 21 March, chanting “we are starved” and asking for medical and food supplies.

Getachew said the newly established council will set clear policies and directions, and will work with the interim administration to ensure the interests of the war veterans.

The establishment of the war veterans council came amidst ongoing handing over of various group weapons by the Tigrayan fighters to the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) as part of the implementation of the peace agreement signed between the federal government and Tigrayan authorities in Pretoria, South Africa.

The handover was made as a sequel of the first round of disarmament where the Tigrayan fighters handover heavy weapons to the ENDF on Tuesday 10 January in the presence of the African Union appointed Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (MVCM)

The state news agency ENA reported that light and group weapons collected on Wednesday at Dangolat area in Tigray region have been handed over to the ENDF, adding that the collection of weapons would continue until 24 April.

The “disarmament of Tigray armed combatants,” is stated in the Executive Declaration on the Modalities for the Implementation of the Pretoria agreement, which was signed in Nairobi on 12 November, article 2.1/D. AS