Today, the Tigray Provisional Administration has requested the Federal Government to enact a humanitarian ceasefire in the Tigray region. The provisional administration’s request came after due consideration of the needs on the ground and following the consultations with academics, business community and religious leaders and elders from the Region.

The Federal government understands that the people of Tigray, especially those in the rural areas, have suffered greatly. Battling desert locust, the COVID19 pandemics, the displacement and interruption of farming activities due to the criminal clique’s instigation of violent conflict have left many in the region exposed to untold suffering. Thus, the Federal government believes that the current challenge in the Tigray Region needs to be addressed expeditiously given the risk of humanitarian crisis confronting our people.

Despite the Federal government’s effort to facilitate unfettered humanitarian access, humanitarian workers still face challenges to reach all areas in the region to deliver urgently needed humanitarian assistance to those in need and avert potential risk of serious food insecurity. Moreover, while efforts are underway to provide agricultural inputs to the farmers, it has been difficult to ensure that all farmers in the region are able to plant during this farming season. It is essential that the planting season ahead is not disrupted lest farming communities will miss it with grave consequences for their livelihoods. There is also an urgent need to accelerate the return of internally displaced persons to their place of origin. This is a challenge that needs to be addressed as soon as practically possible.

In light of the foregoing, the Federal government has decided to address the above challenges in a forthright, frank, and bold manner. Accordingly, it has decided to enact a Unilateral Humanitarian Ceasefire (pause in military activities), which takes immediate effect as of today 28th June 2021 with a view to addressing the above-mentioned challenges. The Federal government has decided to do so with the conviction that this measure will help ensure better humanitarian access and strengthen the effort to rehabilitate and rebuild the Tigray region. Therefore, all Federal and Regional civil and military institutions have been ordered to implement the ceasefire in accordance with the directions set out by the Federal Government.

However, it should be understood that this measure taken by the Federal government is in no way designed to allow impunity, as this would severely harm the cause of justice and sustainable peace. It should be abundantly clear that the Government will ensure full accountability for crimes committed, whoever might be responsible for the atrocities. The Federal government takes this opportunity to call upon all stakeholders, both domestic and international, to assist in the full and effective implementation of the humanitarian ceasefire. The magnitude of damage caused by the enemies of peace is indeed enormous and rehabilitating the region certainly requires the concerted effort of all stakeholders.

The Federal government would also like to underscore that the aforementioned step is being taken in recognition of its heavy responsibilities in ensuring that the people of Ethiopia work together, in order to realize a united, democratic, and prosperous Ethiopia.

The successful completion of the 6th National Elections in Ethiopia has clearly demonstrated the strong commitment of the Ethiopian people to decide on their own fate and destiny through a democratic and peaceful process. Standing in line for hours and staying late through the night, Ethiopians from all walks of life have sent a strong signal that they are ready to work together to build a stronger, united, and democratic Ethiopia, removing the seeds of discord and division sown within the Ethiopian body politic.

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