The rebels said in a statement sent to AFP they were “committed to implementing a cessation of hostilities effective immediately” and urged Ethiopian authorities to hasten delivery of emergency aid into Tigray, where hundreds of thousands face starvation.

Since war broke out in November 2020, thousands have died, and many more have been forced to flee their homes as the conflict has expanded from Tigray to the neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar.

On Thursday, Abiy Ahmed’s government declared a surprise truce, saying it hoped the move would ease humanitarian access to Tigray and “pave the way for the resolution of the conflict”.

It called on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to “desist from all acts of further aggression and withdraw from areas they have occupied in neighbouring regions”.

The rebels in turn urged “Ethiopian authorities to go beyond empty promises and take concrete steps to facilitate unfettered humanitarian access to Tigray”.

More than 400,000 people have been displaced in Tigray, which has also been subject to what the UN says is a de facto blockade.

The United States has accused Abiy’s government of preventing aid from reaching those in need, while the authorities in turn have blamed the rebels for the obstruction.

Original Source : theguardian.com