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Ethiopian rebel group, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), has withdrawn from its captured regions. Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) said it is moving away from regions it captured from neighbouring territories in what may or may not lead to ceasefire.

In a letter addressed to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, TPLF chairman, Dr Debretsion GebreMichael, said besides their withdrawal, the group was seeking for the establishment of a no-fly zone for “hostile flights of aircrafts and drones” flying over Tigray, but with the exemption of humanitarian and civilian deliveries.

The move, ahead of a crucial meeting of the UN Security Council on Ethiopia on Monday night, was seen as an effort to open up aid channels for hungry families, the sick and students, all of whose search for food, medicine and education were dashed in the 13-month long conflict that has left thousands dead and others displaced.

The Council was expected to meet late on Monday under ‘Any other business’, traditionally allocated to emergency situations deemed threatening to world peace and security. Council members France, Estonia, Ireland, Norway, UK and US — all of who have been critical of Ethiopia’s handling of the Tigray crisis — had called for the meeting ostensibly to discuss the humanitarian crisis.

The rebel group says it hopes that its “bold act of withdrawal will be a decisive opening for peace” for the country.

“We are trusting that you and the Security Council will ensure that every measure is utilised to end the illegal occupation and annexation of parts of Tigray and the violations against the people who are under that regime of occupation,” the letter dated December 19 said.

This comes after the UN estimates that between 5,000 and 7,000 Tigarayans, journalists and UN staff have been detained in unknown locations and incommunicado in the country which amount to acts of enforced disappearances.

Source: Facebook.

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