DRAFT AGREEMENT FOR LASTING PEACE THROUGH A PERMANENT CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA AND THE TIGRAY PEOPLE’S LIBERATION FRONT (TPLF)
Agreeing to peacefully resolve the violent conflict that erupted on November 3, 2020, in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia in a manner consistent with the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
Recognizing the destructive consequence of the conflict between the two Parties on human lives and livelihoods;
Affirming that political problems can only be sustainably resolved through political means;
Reiterating the Parties’ commitment to the African Union’s Agenda of Silencing the Guns by 2030, consistent with the spirit of ‘African solutions to African problems;
Resolved to find a lasting and comprehensive solution to the conflict; including restoration of constitutional order in the Tigray region;
Convinced of the need to agree upon the terms for the permanent cessation of hostilities and modalities for the peaceful settlement of all political differences and disputes;
Determined to seek a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis within a framework of the permanent cessation of hostilities where a monitoring and verification mechanism shall be put in place to monitor compliance;
Recognising the efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to the crisis by the African Union, the African Union High-Level Panel led by His Excellency former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, supported by His Excellency former President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and Her Excellency Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of South Africa, as well as the Republic of South Africa for graciously hosting the Peace Talks, and the observers for their support;
Mindful of the desire of the people of Ethiopia to live in peace and dignity in an inclusive democratic society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights, and the rule of law;
The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (the Government) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (the TPLF) (together referred to as the Parties) agree to the following terms;
Article 1 – Objectives
The objectives of this Agreement are to:
- Reach an immediate and Permanent Cessation of Hostilities with a view to silencing the Guns and creating a conducive environment and laying the foundation for sustainable peace;
- Restore the constitutional order disrupted due to the conflict in the Tigray Region;
- Reject violence as a method of resolving political differences;
- Guarantee security for all;
- Ensure a lasting settlement of the conflict;
- Provide a framework for addressing matters arising out of the conflict;
- Provide a framework to ensure accountability for matters arising out of the conflict;
- Foster reconciliation and the rehabilitation of social bonds;
- Facilitate economic recovery and reconstruction;
- Commit to addressing the underlying political differences;
- Provide a framework for monitoring and verification of the implementation of the Agreement.
Article 2 – Principles Underpinning the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities
The Parties shall be guided by the following principles:
- Respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE);
- Legality and respect for constitutional norms and principles enshrined in the FDRE Constitution;
- Respect for fundamental human rights and democratic norms and principles;
- Respect for the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance;
- Accountability and justice in accordance with the FDRE Constitution and the AU Transitional Justice Policy Framework;
- Unhindered humanitarian access to all in need of assistance;
- The use of humanitarian aid exclusively for humanitarian purposes.
- Reconciliation and rehabilitation;
- Relief and Reconstruction;
- Good faith commitment in the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities and all subsequent stages of the peace process.
Article 3 – The Permanent Cessation of Hostilities
- The Parties commit to and declare an immediate and Permanent Cessation of Hostilities, and undertake to disengage forces or armed groups under their control;
- This Permanent Cessation of all forms of hostilities shall include, among others; the cessation of overt and covert acts of violence; laying of mines; sabotage; airstrikes; direct or indirect acts of violence; and subversion or use of proxies to destabilize the other party or collusion with any external force hostile to either party;
- The Permanent Cessation of hostilities shall include the cessation of all forms of hostile propaganda, rhetoric, and hate speech;
- The Permanent Cessation of Hostilities shall pave the way for the restoration of the constitutional order in the Tigray Region and political dialogue between the Parties;
- The Parties agree to restore the presence of federal authority in Mekelle in order to create a conducive environment for the resumption of public services in the region as well as to ensure the safety of the inhabitants of the city. To this effect, the Parties agree that the ENDF and other relevant Federal Institutions shall have an expeditious, smooth, peaceful, and coordinated entry into Mekelle, which shall be facilitated through the open communication channel to be established between the senior commanders of the Parties as per Article 6 (c) of this Agreement.
Article 4 – Protection of Civilians
- The Parties shall protect the human rights of the civilian population and commit to upholding applicable international humanitarian law instruments to which Ethiopia is a party;
- The Parties shall, in particular, condemn any act of sexual and gender-based violence, any act of violence against children, girls, women and the elderly, including recruitment and conscription of child soldiers, and support family reunification.
Article 5 – Humanitarian Access
- The Government of FDRE shall expedite the provision of humanitarian aid in collaboration with humanitarian agencies taking into account the specific needs of vulnerable groups including women, children and the elderly; The Parties shall cooperate to this effect;
- The Parties undertake to cooperate among themselves and with the relevant humanitarian agencies to assist in reuniting families;
- The Government of FDRE undertakes to facilitate the return and reintegration of internally displaced persons and refugees, whenever the security situation permits;
- The Parties shall ensure that humanitarian aid is used only for humanitarian purposes.
Article 6 – Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR)
- Agree and recognize that the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has only one defence force;
- Shall design and implement a comprehensive DDR program for TPLF Combatants consistent with the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
- Agree that within 24 hours of the signing of this Agreement, an open channel of communication between senior commanders of both sides will be established;
- Agree to organize a meeting of senior commanders within 5 days from the signing of this Agreement to discuss and work out detailed modalities for disarmament for the TPLF combatants, taking into account the security situation on the ground;
- Agree to undertake the disarmament of the heavy armaments of the TPLF combatants as a matter of priority based on a detailed schedule to be agreed upon between the senior commanders of the Parties. The disarmament activities in the schedule should be completed within ten days from the conclusion of the meeting of the senior commanders. The ten-day period could be extended based on the recommendation of the senior commanders, to be endorsed by the Parties.
- Agree to finalize the overall disarmament of the TPLF combatants, including light weapons within 30 days from the signing of this Agreement;
- Agree that the demobilization and reintegration plan will consider the Tigray Region’s law-and-order needs.
Article 7 – Confidence-building measures
- The TPLF shall:
- Respect the constitutional authority of the Federal Government, all constitutional bodies and organs of the Federal Government, including but not limited to the authority of the Federal Government to control all federal facilities, institutions, and the international boundaries of the country;
- Refrain from aiding and abetting, supporting, or collaborating with any armed or subversive group in any part of the country;
- Respect the constitutional mandate of the Federal Government to deploy the Ethiopian National Defence Force as well as federal security and law enforcement agencies to discharge their responsibilities under the Constitution, relevant laws, and regulations;
- Refrain from conscription, training, deployment, mobilization, or preparation for conflict and hostilities;
- Halt any conduct that undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia, including unconstitutional correspondence and relations with foreign powers;
- Cease all attempts of bringing about an unconstitutional change of government.
- The Government of the FDRE shall:
- Halt military operations targeting the TPLF combatants;
- Expedite and coordinate the restoration of essential services in the Tigray region within agreed timeframes;
- Facilitate the lifting of the terrorist designation of the TPLF by the House of
- Mobilize and expedite humanitarian assistance for all those in need in the Tigray Region and other affected areas, and ensure unhindered humanitarian access.
Article 8 – International Boundaries and Federal Facilities
- The ENDF shall be deployed along the international boundaries of Ethiopia;
- The ENDF shall safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of the country from foreign incursion and ensure that there will be no provocation or incursion from either side of the border;
- The ENDF, the Federal Police, and other federal security organs shall take full and effective control of national airspace, aviation safety and security, and all federal facilities, installations, and major infrastructure such as airports and highways within the Tigray Region.
Article 9 – Restoration of Federal Authority in the Tigray Region and representation in federal institutions
- The Parties agree on the restoration of Federal Authority in the Tigray Region, including control of federal institutions and agencies;
- The Federal Government shall ensure and facilitate the representation of the Tigray region in the federal institutions, including the House of Federation, and House of
Peoples’ Representatives, in accordance with the FDRE Constitution and applicable laws.
Article 10 – Transitional Measures
- Within a week of the implementation of Article 7 (2) (c) and until elections for the Regional Council and the House of Peoples’ Representatives are held under the supervision of the Ethiopian National Election Board, the establishment of an inclusive Interim Regional Administration will be settled through political dialogue between the Parties;
- A week after the implementation of Article 7 (2) (c) the Parties shall start a political dialogue to find lasting solutions to the underlying political differences between them;
- The Government of Ethiopia shall implement a comprehensive national transitional justice policy aimed at accountability, ascertaining the truth, redress for victims, reconciliation, and healing, consistent with the Constitution of FDRE and the African Union Transitional Justice Policy Framework. The transitional justice policy shall be developed with inputs from all stakeholders, and civil society groups through public consultations and formal national policy-making processes.
- The Parties commit to resolving issues of contested areas in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Article 11 – Monitoring, Verification, and Compliance
- The Parties agree to institute a monitoring, verification, and compliance mechanism for the effective implementation of the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities. For this purpose, the Parties agree to establish a Joint Committee comprising a representative from each party, a representative from IGAD and chaired by the African Union through the High-Level Panel. The Joint Committee shall be assisted by a team of African Experts;
- The AU, through the High-Level Panel, shall appoint a team of African experts to monitor the implementation of the permanent cessation of hostilities agreed upon under Article 3 of this Agreement. The Parties shall appoint one expert each to work with the team of African Experts;
- The AU, through the High-Level Panel shall consult with the Parties regarding the terms of reference and the profile of the Experts;
- The specific functions of the experts, including those with a military background, shall be agreed upon between the Parties and the AU, through the High-Level Panel;
- The number of experts shall not exceed ten (10). If additional experts are needed, this shall be agreed upon with the Parties;
- The duration of the mandate of the experts shall be six months from the date the experts are deployed. This period could be extended upon agreement with the Parties;
- The AU, through the High-Level Panel may, in agreement with the Parties, augment the work of the experts with satellite imagery;
- Whenever the team of experts finds instances of violation of the cessation of hostilities, they will inform the concerned party to take immediate measures to rectify the violation;
- They will also inform the other party and Joint Committee of any communication under the preceding sub-article. If the violation is not rectified within 24 hours, the AU, through the High-Level Panel will convene the Joint Committee to resolve the problem.
Article 12 – Good Faith Implementation
- The Parties undertake to implement this Agreement in good faith and to refrain from any action that undermines and/or is inconsistent with the spirit and letter of this Cessation of Hostilities;
- The Parties shall promote the objectives of the Cessation of Hostilities.
Article 13 – Joint Statement and communications
- The Parties shall issue a joint statement on the importance of this Agreement and their joint commitment to work towards peace and stability in the country;
- The Parties commit not to make any unilateral statement, in any form, that could undermine this Agreement;
- All public statements, in any form, by the Parties shall support the Agreement and prepare the ground for implementation.
Article 14 – Effective Date
This Agreement shall come into effect at 00:00 hours East Africa Time (EAT) on 3rd November 2022.
Article 15 – Amendments to this Agreement
This Agreement may be amended by mutual consent of the Parties, which shall be in writing and signed by the Parties.
Done at Pretoria, the Republic of South Africa on 2nd November 2022.
For the Government of the FDRE For the Tigray People’s Liberation Front
His Excellency, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson African Union Commission
His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa
His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, former President of the Republic of Kenya (Panel Member)
Her Excellency Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa (Panel Member)