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French, German ministers hail Ethiopia peace deal

German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock (L) and French Foreign Affairs Minister, Catherine Colonna (R) speak at a WFP warehouse in Adama, Ethiopia   -  
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The French and German foreign ministers, Catherine Colonna and Annalena Baerbock, on Thursday visited a WFP distribution center in Adama, just outside Addis Ababa, containing recently shipped grain for the war-torn regions of Ethiopia. 

The site holds 50,000 tonnes of wheat.

During their visit, the ministers hailed the success in implementing an Ethiopian peace agreement signed last year to end two years of war.

Their trip began a day after Tigrayan rebels announced they were starting to hand in their heavy weapons, a key component of the November 2 deal to silence the guns in the north.

Colonna welcomed "good progress which we encourage to continue," at a press briefing with Baerbock.

"Hostilities have ceased, aid has been able to reach the regions which had not received it... a return of arms (by rebels) has begun."

She urged the establishment of a transitional justice mechanism to punish abuses during the conflict.

A diplomatic source said before the trip that the ministers were carrying a message from the European Union that it is ready to re-engage in Ethiopia provided the ceasefire is respected and that a transitional justice mechanism is put in place.

The that erupted in November 2020 displaced more than two million and left millions more in need of humanitarian aid.

Since the peace agreement was signed in the South African capital Pretoria, there has been a limited resumption of aid deliveries to Tigray, which has long faced dire shortages of food, fuel, cash and medicines.

Basic services such as communications, banking and electricity are slowly being restored to the stricken region of six million people.

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