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Addis Names TPLF Official to Head Tigray

FILE: Getachew Reda, Representative of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), at the African Union-led negotiations at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) offices in Pretoria, Nov. 2, 2022. He now heads Tigray's regional government.

NAIROBI - The Ethiopian government said Thursday it has appointed a senior official in the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) as head of the interim Tigray regional government after a peace deal ended a brutal two-year conflict.

"Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed Getachew Reda as president of the Tigray region's interim administration," Abiy's office said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The announcement comes just a day after parliament removed the TPLF from an official list of terrorist organizations in a move it said would help bolster the November 2022 peace deal between the rebels and the federal government.

The TPLF, which once dominated Ethiopian politics, was officially designated a terrorist organization in May 2021, six months after the Tigray war began.

Getachew, adviser to TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael, also once served as communications minister in the federal government under prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn who governed from 2012 to 2018.

Under the terms of the November peace deal signed in South Africa's capital Pretoria, the TPLF agreed to disarm in return for the restoration of access to Tigray, which was largely cut off from the outside world during the war.

Since the deal, there has been some resumption of basic services and aid deliveries to Tigray, which has faced dire shortages of food, fuel, cash and medicines.