Ethiopia to resume public transport into conflict-affected Tigray region

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Friday disclosed that preparations have been finalized to resume public land transport services into the country's conflict-affected northernmost Tigray region.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Transport and Logistics said instructions have been sent to public transport associations to start land transport from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to the Tigray region, state-affiliated Fanta Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reported.

According to the Ministry of Transport and Logistics, the service will start as soon as the national ministerial committee, headed by the country's Minister of Peace, approves it.

It said the service will be started in areas including the regional capital Mekele, Axum and Shire, among others.

Late last month, Ethiopian Airlines resumed its flights to Mekele, the rebel-held capital of the country's Tigray region.

The resumption of flights is said to enable families to reunite, facilitate the restoration of commercial activities, stimulate tourist flow and bring many more opportunities which will serve society.

The resumption of basic services, which also includes telecom and banking, came after a permanent cessation of hostilities agreement signed on Nov. 2 between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which now controls the northernmost region.

The deal also includes restoring law and order, restoring services, and unhindered access to humanitarian supplies.

Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous nation, has seen a devastating conflict between government-allied troops and forces loyal to the TPLF for the past two years, which left thousands dead and millions more in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

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