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Ethiopia’s Tigray region appoints new interim leader, Tigrai TV reports

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The dominant party in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region has nominated its spokesman Getachew Reda to be president of a regional interim administration called for in a peace deal that ended a two-year war in the region, party-run media reported on Saturday.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fought Ethiopian forces and their allies in a war that killed tens of thousands of people. A truce was reached last November after federal forces recorded a series of battlefield victories.

If Getachew’s nomination, which was reported by the TPLF-controlled Tigrai TV, is approved by the federal government, he would replace TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael, who has led Tigray since 2018.

It is not clear when the federal government might weigh in on Getachew’s nomination or when the interim administration will be set up.

Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lack of an interim government has been hampering the humanitarian response across Tigray, where millions are in dire need of assistance, according to aid workers.

Salaries for civil servants and medical personnel have not been paid, and aid agencies lack a clear interlocutor, they said.

Getachew’s nomination came days after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visite Ethiopia and praised authorities there for progress on implementing the peace pact while cautioning that more work needed to be done.

During that visit, Blinken discussed with Getachew and Ethiopian officials the importance of setting up the interim administration.

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