Shijal ChudasamaDecember 20, 2022

The largest bank in Ethiopia "resumes services" in Tigray.

The largest bank in Ethiopia "resumes services" in Tigray.

After being closed for more than a year, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia claims to have reopened its branches in Shire, Alamata, and Korem.

Following a closure of more than a year, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia announced it has restored financial services in a few towns in the war-torn Tigray area, allowing locals to access their funds.

The federal government and Tigrayan rebels signed a peace agreement last month with the intention of ending the harsh two-year battle and the humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia. The statement on Monday comes in the wake of that agreement.

The nation's largest bank issued a statement saying, "Following the peace deal achieved lately, the (CBE) branches we have in Shire, Alamata and Korem cities have started collecting money received from overseas and locally as well as depositing money."

According to the statement, "Our bank was compelled to cease its financial activities due to the insecurity in the northern portion of the nation."

Conditions permitting, we will keep working to improve our offerings and gradually resume services across all branches.

Since Tigray has experienced a communications blackout for more than a year and access to northern Ethiopia is extremely constrained, it is impossible for journalists to independently confirm the situation on the ground.

Fighting between federal soldiers and the Tigray People's Liberation Front has stopped since the November 2 peace deal was signed in South Africa; the TPLF reports that 65 percent of its forces have "disengaged" from battle lines.

After more than a year of power outages brought on by the violence, the nation's electrical operator announced earlier this month that the capital of Tigray had been reconnected to the national power grid.

Tigray was devastated by the war, and it spent more than a year without access to basic services including banking, electricity, fuel, and communications.

Since the accord, some humanitarian aid has filtered into the north, but it is still far from enough to address the population's urgent needs.

The war's death toll is unknown, although Amnesty International and the research tank International Crisis Group have called it one of the bloodiest in history.

All sides have been accused of wrongdoing, and according to the UN, the violence has forced more than two million people to flee their homes and brought hundreds of thousands to the verge of hunger.

The peace agreement aims to put a stop to fighting, disarm fighters from Tigray, reestablish federal government control, and reopen access to the area.

However, the deal contains no mention of the departure of Eritrean forces, who during the conflict supported Ethiopia's government and were alleged to have committed atrocious atrocities.

Since the peace was reached, the TPLF has routinely accused Eritrean forces of violating human rights in Tigray.

More than 13 million people in northern Ethiopia currently rely on humanitarian help, including more than 90% of the six million people who live in Tigray, according to the UN World Food Programme.

In November 2020, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed dispatched troops to Ethiopia's far north, charging the TPLF—at the time the area's dominant party—of attacking federal army camps.

Prior to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Abiy taking office in 2018, the TPLF controlled politics in the country in the Horn of Africa for nearly three decades.

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