ADDIS ABABA, 28 June 2021 – The Ethiopian government has declared a unilateral ceasefire in the country’s northern Tigray, the United Nations reported Monday.

The ceasefire comes eight months after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent federal troops into the region last November 4 to oust the region’s ruling party known as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The Return and Control of Tigray by the TPLF Results in a De Facto State - Photo Eritrea Hub

The Return and Control of Tigray by the TPLF Results in a De Facto State – Photo Eritrea Hub

Ethiopia's Tigray Region - Source AFP

Ethiopia’s Tigray Region – Source AFP

Ousted and on-the-run TPLF leaders vowed never to surrender, promising that TPLF soldiers will fight on until “the last man standing”.

TPLF soldiers marched through several streets of Tigray after federal forces announced the ceasefire.

Tigrayan forces claimed victory in a war in which thousands have been killed, millions internally displaced and over 350,000 people face famine.

TPLF Fighters Take Over Control of Tigray - Photo Addis Standard

TPLF Fighters Take Over Control of Tigray – Photo Addis Standard

Reports – denied by the authorities in the capital, Addis Ababa – say federal forces withdrew in the face of a major offensive launched last week by Tigrayan forces.

Federal forces withdrew in order to avoid being defeated and humiliated, TPLF leaders told reporters on Monday.

The Tigray region is under our control, said Getachew Reda, a spokesperson for the TPLF.

Steady Erosion of Press Freedoms Under Abiy Ahmed - Photo CPJ

Steady Erosion of Press Freedoms Under Abiy Ahmed – Photo CPJ

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres - Photo Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres – Photo Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

On Monday, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who spoke with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said it was “essential that civilians are protected, humanitarian aid reaches the people in need and a political solution is found”.

Guterres said he is “hopeful” that the ceasefire would hold.

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