On Tuesday, Ethiopian lawmakers voted to lift the country’s state of emergency after the approval of a motion in parliament that faced stiff resistance but sailed through with a majority vote.
The lifting of the state of emergency, which was implemented six months ago, occurred two months after Tigray rebels retreated largely from the northern regions of Amhara and Afar.
While reports suggest that the latest development came amid secret talks between the Ethiopian government and rebels for a ceasefire, the Ethiopian government has denied starting any talks with the Tigray rebels.
After a brief visit to Ethiopia over the weekend, the EU’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Annette Weber, was quoted by Addis Standard, a local monthly magazine, saying that there was discussion regarding the delisting of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as a terrorist organization.
Over the past two weeks, tens of thousands of people have been displaced from localities in the northeastern region of Afar adjoining the Tigray state after the rebels launched fresh offensives and captured a number of districts.
In November 2020, the conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray rebels started after the latter attacked military positions across Tigray, including the regional capital Mekele.