Ethiopia’s Tigray region nominates new interim leader: Report

TPLF appoints spokesman Getachew Reda as president of a temporary regional board, media reports by the party.

The dominant party in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has announced its candidate for the presidency of a regional administration leading to a peace deal ending a two-year war in the northern region, the party-led media said.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has appointed its spokesman, Getachew Read, to the interim post, Tigrai TV reported Saturday.

The TPLF fought against Ethiopian forces and their allies in a war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people. A ceasefire was reached last November after federal troops won a series of battlefield victories.

If Getachew’s nomination 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 will weigh in on Getachew’s nomination or when the interim administration will be established.

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

The lack of an interim government is hampering humanitarian aid in Tigray, where aid workers say millions of people are in dire need of help.

Salaries for civil servants and medical staff have not been paid, and aid organizations have no clear interlocutor, they said.

Getachew’s appointment came days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ethiopia and praised authorities there for progress in implementing the peace pact, while warning 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.