Tiger forces have decided to release 4,208 prisoners of war, including a general amnesty, including 401 women, according to the tweet.
“Most of them were taken captive (in the war) outside the Tigris region, and others joined the fight for forced recruitment,” said Birhane Kebede, coordinator of the region’s concentration camp, quoting the regional ruling party. Birhane said priority has been given to the release of those who have given birth to children with disabilities, illness and captivity.
According to a foreign diplomat in Addis Ababa, the decision to release the prisoners was made after weeks of talks between the military commanders of both sides, who said that talks at the political level have not yet taken place.
This is the second time that Tiger forces have announced the release of prisoners of war. In July 2021, they announced the release of 1,000 federal troops after a public parade.
“These releases are probably a sign of goodwill and acute food shortages in the Tigers,” William Davison, senior analyst at the International Crisis Group for Ethiopia, told the Associated Press.
“Now that the flow of aid to the (Tigre) region has increased amid the protracted stalemate in large-scale fighting, the federal government should restore key services such as banking and move the peace process forward by negotiating a permanent ceasefire with Tiger leaders,” he said.
Ethiopia’s deadly civil war is thought to have erupted in November 2020 after federal officials accused Tigers of attacking an army base in the region. Aid groups say federal forces have closed the area, especially since July 2021, making it difficult to provide food and other desperately needed aid. In recent months, sanctions have been relaxed to allow better aid to flow to the Ethiopian Tigris region.