Earlier in the day, the Ethiopian government and local forces from the Tigray region agreed to cease hostilities.
“This is a welcome first step that would bring some solace to millions of Ethiopian civilians who suffered during the conflict,” Dujarric said during a press briefing.
Ethiopia has experienced a violent internal conflict since November 2020, when the central government accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of attacking its military base and launched an anti-terrorist operation in the region.
In June 2021, the TPLF seized the city of Mekelle – Tigray’s administrative regional centre – after fighting the government and the latter declared an unconditional ceasefire. However, the TPLF soon launched a new offensive and took control of the southern part of Tigray and the neighbouring Amhara region.
The ongoing conflict in Ethiopia has claimed tens of thousands of lives, displaced millions of people and caused a dire humanitarian crisis across the country.
A new peace deal was reached in March, when the Ethiopian authorities announced the introduction of an indefinite humanitarian truce for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray. In June, the Ethiopian government announced the establishing of a committee for negotiations with the TPLF.