After an 18 months long shutdown, Ethiopian airlines has resumed commercial flights to and from Mekele, the capital of the Tigray Region on Wednesday.
Families rejoice as they are finally reunited with their loved ones after the two- year long conflict opposing the Tigray people’s liberation front and the Ethiopian government was brought to a halt by an agreement between both parties to cease hostilities and return to constitutional order last month.
Ethiopian airlines has announced multiple frequent flights to and from the region depending on the need.
The reintroduction of flights to and from Mekele is one of the many first steps towards peace in the region.
Mekele was connected to the national electricity grid on December 6th, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, the country’s main bank, announced on December 19th that it was resuming operations in some towns, as telephone communications with the region are also being restored.
Things are looking up for the country’s constitutional order though the region of six million is still largely without electricity and phone line for the most part.
On 2 November, the government and Tigrayan rebels signed an agreement to end the war that has ravaged northern Ethiopia for two years.
The agreement provides for the disarmament of rebel forces, the re-establishment of federal authority in Tigray and the reopening of access and communications to the region, which has been cut off from the world since mid-2021.
The fighting began in November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the army to arrest Tigrayan leaders who had been challenging his authority for months and whom he accused of attacking federal military bases.