Electricity, telecoms return to parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray

Dec 6, 2022, 4:46 PM | Updated: Dec 7, 2022, 6:47 am
Children from a local martial arts and fitness center perform at a street carnival organized by the...

Children from a local martial arts and fitness center perform at a street carnival organized by the Tigray Development Association in support of the recent peace deal agreed between the Ethiopian federal government and Tigray forces, in Mekele, the capital of the Tigray region, in northern Ethiopia on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Basic services like electricity and telecoms have been restored to key parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray region following the signing of a cease-fire deal a month ago, but most areas are still cut off from the world.

The agreement signed Nov. 2 requires Ethiopia’s federal government to restore basic services to Tigray, which has been mostly without phone, internet and banking services since war erupted two years ago. Power has also been disrupted to the region of more than 5 million people.

On Tuesday, the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported that Tigray’s capital, Mekele, had been reconnected to the national power grid following maintenance to a transmission line.

Kibrom Gebreselassie, the director of Mekele’s Ayder hospital, confirmed that the city has had “uninterrupted” electricity since Tuesday evening. “This is for the first time in weeks,” Kibrom told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

However, the electricity supply remains erratic in parts of Mekele, according to residents.

Telecommunications have resumed to parts of southern Tigray and to the region’s second-largest city of Shire, which hosts large numbers of displaced people. Two residents told the AP the city’s phone network was restored over the weekend but said the city is still without power, banking and internet services.

Phone lines appeared to still be down in the towns of Axum and Adigrat on Wednesday afternoon.

The shutdown of Tigray’s basic services has drawn accusations of a government-imposed blockade, while restrictions on humanitarian aid entering the region prompted United Nations investigators earlier this year to conclude that Ethiopia’s government has likely used starvation as a method of war.

The internet blackout affecting Tigray “is the world’s longest uninterrupted shutdown,” according to rights group Access Now.

The closure of Tigray’s banks has left millions of people unable to access their savings to buy food, according to aid workers, exacerbating the region’s dire humanitarian crisis.

The National Bank of Ethiopia has ordered commercial banks to undertake audits ahead of re-opening branches located in areas of Tigray under the control of the federal military, according to local media reports.

The Tigray leaders were due to demobilize their forces within 30 days of signing the cease-fire deal. Last week, Tigray’s top military commander, Tadesse Woreda, told reporters that 65% of Tigray’s fighters had withdrawn from frontline areas.

Tigray’s leadership, however, has said it will not fully demobilize until the military of neighboring Eritrea withdraws. The AP has reported witness accounts of Eritrean troops remaining in Tigray after the cease-fire deal and killing civilians and looting properties.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Paul Njoroge, right, points to photos of his wife and three children that were killed in the 2019 c...
Associated Press

Boeing pleads not guilty in case over deadly Max crashes

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Boeing pleaded not guilty Thursday to a fraud charge in an unusual case in which families of passengers who died in two plane crashes are trying to throw out a settlement the company reached to avoid prosecution. At a hearing dominated by emotional, wrenching testimony from passengers’ relatives, a federal […]
15 hours ago
abortion Capital gains tax Olympia meeting legislature abortion...
Associated Press

Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

Abortion rights proposals have been front and center in Olympia, Washington, this week as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access.
15 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Justices weigh effort to balance Washington state’s tax code

SEATTLE (AP) — An effort to balance what is considered the nation’s most regressive state tax code came before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, with justices hearing arguments about whether they should overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and […]
15 hours ago
Demonstrators protest the death of an environmental activist, who went by Tortuguita, in Atlanta on...
Associated Press

State of emergency declared over Atlanta ‘Cop City’ protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. The declaration allows the Republican governor to […]
15 hours ago
FILE - People walk on the sand near the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant in San Clemente, C...
Associated Press

US sweetens pot to study siting for spent nuke fuel storage

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. government has long struggled to find a permanent solution for storing or disposing of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear power plants, and opposition to such a site is flaring up again as New Mexico lawmakers debate banning a facility without state consent. The state’s prospective ban cleared its […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the Administrator for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services,...
Associated Press

California prison inmates to get some Medicaid care

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government will allow Medicaid dollars to treat some people in prisons, jails or juvenile detention centers for the first time ever, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday. CMS will allow California inmates to access limited services, including substance use treatment and mental health diagnoses, 90 days before […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Electricity, telecoms return to parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray