Ethiopia’s PM meets Tigray leaders for first time since war

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By Associated Press

NAIROBI: Ethiopia’s prime minister has met the leaders of rival Tigray forces for the first time since a devastating two-year conflict ended with a peace deal late last year.

State media on Friday showed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed meeting with the Tigray side’s lead negotiators and others. It didn’t say when the meeting occurred.

National Security Adviser Redwan Hussein tweeted that the prime minister made decisions on increasing flights and banking services to the northern Tigray region along with issues to “boost trust and ease lives of civilians.”

The conflict cut off the Tigray region of more than 5 million people, with humanitarian aid often blocked and basic services severed while health workers pleaded for the simplest of medical supplies. Pressure over the fate of civilians helped lead to the peace deal.

The conflict is estimated to have killed a half-million civilians in Tigray, according to researchers with Ghent University in Belgium, and others were killed in neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions.

There was no immediate statement by the Tigray leaders on the meeting.