Ethiopia: Tigray Forces Withdraw 65% of Fighters From Frontline

    Photo: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters [via France 24]

    The Facts

    • A month after the government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a ceasefire agreement to end the two-year conflict in Northern Tigray, at least 65% of TPLF fighters have withdrawn from the front lines in Ethiopia.

    • According to Tadesse Wereda, the commander-in-chief of the TPLF, the "disengaged" rebel forces have "moved to designated places."

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The TPLF follows the deal's conditions, even though the federal government continues obstructing aid delivery to Tigray. The TPLF's leadership signed the agreement for the sake of the Tigrayans, as the region yearned for peace and stability after two years of terrible bloodshed. However, since Eritrea's atrocities and refusal to withdraw from the region threaten to derail the peace process, the TPLF needs to stay in the region to protect its people.

    Narrative B

    Though the developments are promising, the West-backed TPLF has used previous ceasefires to reorganize its forces, buy more weapons, and recruit more rebels. This ceasefire may not be any different. The TPLF has continued to make false statements regarding aid delivery and airstrikes. The fact that the TPLF wants the Eritrean military forces to exit Ethiopia and give up their arms and ammunition shows its true colors — it may be simply preparing to reignite the brutal war.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that the National Palace in Addis Ababa will fall to the TPLF by the start of 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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